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Kenyans pay their last respects to tweeting chief Francis Kariuki
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|Kenyans pay their last respects to tweeting chief Francis Kariuki by Kenyans247(1): Wed 28, October, 2020 09:20am|
Dozens of people, among them government officials, thronged Christ is the Answer Ministries church in Free Area, Nakuru to attend the requiem mass of the late chief Francis Kariuki, popularly known as the 'Tweeting Chief'.
Officials including deputy county commissioners from across the country attended the mass to pay their last respects to the late chief Kariuki.
Nakuru Town East Deputy County Commissioner Eric Wanyonyi, who represented Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya, described Kariuki as a dedicated, innovative and dynamic civil servant, whose influence was felt beyond his jurisdiction - Lanet Umoja.
"We have lost a dedicated, hardworking, selfless, innovative administrator, who was tech-savvy and brought the entire community of Lanet under one umbrella to foster community work and improve security using Twitter.
“He also helped the police move swiftly to arrest criminals in his jurisdiction," said Mr Wanyonyi.
'Tweeting chief' Francis Kariuki.
Mr Wanyonyi further said: "The demise of Chief Francis Kariuki has left a huge gap that will take time to be filled."
His colleagues described him as a friendly, focussed and dedicated chief.
"Death has robbed Lanet residents a dedicated civil servant, who was a darling to the residents he served. hrough his efforts, citizens were able to access information in a timely and effective manner through the Twitter platform, "said a chief, who worked closely with him.
Bishop Margaret Mwihaki of Lanet condoled the family and praised the administrator, saying he was a hardworking and a humble person.
His wife Peris Kariuki described him as a great friend, ambitious, humble and hardworking.
"Death has robbed me of a great, industrious, ambitious, humble and hardworking friend and love of my life. I was really heartbroken by his death. May he rest in peace,” said his wife amid tears.
Chief Kariuki also served as an elder in his local church.
The globally recognised tech-savvy chief died last week after a short illness. He will be laid to rest at his home in Githioro, Bahati Sub-county on Wednesday.
His body will leave the Nakuru Level Five Hospital mortuary on Wednesday at 8am ahead of the funeral service.
The burial ceremony will take place at Lanet Umoja Primary School grounds.
Several national and county leaders are expected to attend the burial event.
The tweeting chief died at the age of 55 years.
His daughter revealed that Chief Kariuki has been ailing from diabetes for a long time.
The tech savvy village chief of Lanet Umoja was known for leveraging social media to discharge his duties.
He received global attention in 2014 for using Twitter to fight crime.
Mr Kariuki led a community of more than 30,000 residents.
His Twitter account shows he has about 60,000 followers and those who receive his tweets via text message are said to be in the thousands.
Subscribers get his tweets in real-time via free text messages and don't need to have a Twitter account or an internet connection.
The chief could send them at any time of the day or night using his smartphone.
By the time of his death, Chief Kariuki's tweeting had reduced the crime rate in Lanet Umoja.
He also used Twitter to encourage unemployed youth through messages of hope.
He was born and raised in Nakuru and attended Mereroni Primary School. He later joined Lanet Secondary School and Kigari Teachers Training College later.
He taught for 21 years in different schools as a teacher, four years as a deputy head teacher and six years as a head teacher at Lords School, Kambi Moto in Rongai Sub-County.
In 2009, he became the first chief of Lanet Umoja.
In 2015, he graduated with a degree in Counselling Psychology from Mount Kenya University, which he had been pursuing through virtual learning.
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