President Kenyatta Mourns Kenya’s Ambassador To Qatar Paddy Ahenda
President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives and friends of Kenya’s Ambassador to Qatar, Patrick ‘Paddy’ Cornel Odero Ahenda who passed away while receiving treatment at a hospital in Doha.
In his message of comfort and encouragement, President Kenyatta eulogised the envoy as a dedicated and committed diplomat who was keen on deepening Kenya’s relations with Qatar and the Arab world.
“We have lost one of Kenya’s most devoted diplomats who was keen on strengthening our relations with not only Qatar but the entire Arab world for the benefit of our people,” the President mourned, noting that Amb Ahenda had overseen tremendous growth in trade and people-to-people exchanges between Nairobi and Doha during his tenure.
“I note with appreciation the work of Amb Ahenda. During his tenure as our envoy in Doha, he facilitated the significant rise in the number of Kenyans working in different fields in Qatar from 25,000 to over 30,000.
“Amb Ahenda similarly ensured increased trade flows between the two nations with Kenya’s exports to Qatar growing to over Shs 9 billion annually. In addition, Amb Ahenda helped attract a growing number of Qatari investors into Kenya who invested in real estate, manufacturing and other sectors of our economy,” he said.
President Kenyatta noted that at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Amb Ahenda mobilized medical aid from the Arab country to support Kenya’s fight against the disease.
He described Amb Ahenda, a former Kasipul Kabando MP, as a patriot and devoted public servant whose focus was service to the country and the betterment of the wellbeing of the Kenyan nation.
“A loyal and patriotic Kenyan, Amb Ahenda will be remembered for his servant leadership during his diplomatic service and before as the MP for Kasipul Kabondo where he left a strong legacy of development,” the President said.
Kenya’s Ambassador to Qatar Paddy Ahenda is dead. His family says the former Kasipul Kabondo MP succumbed to heat stroke.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned the death of Kenya’s Ambassador to Qatar Patrick Paddy Ahenda who passed away while hospitalised in Doha.
The Head of State eulogised the envoy as a dedicated and committed diplomat who was keen on deepening Kenya’s relations with Qatar and the Arab world.
Paddy was in fairly good health. Last Thursday (March 31), he even communicated with some of the family members. His death has shocked us. We are now waiting for the Government to give us more details about what happened,” said Gabriel Ahenda.
The envoy had been receiving treatment at a Doha hospital, and was in the intensive care unit for one week.
His family said he was taken to hospital after reportedly suffering a stroke.
Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata and Chief Advisor of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Dr Kenneth Kambona are some of the leaders who have sent their condolence messages to Paddy Ahenda’s family.
In February 2019, rumours suggested that Qatar had rejected Ahenda as head of Kenya’s mission in the country, but the Middle East nation would later come out to refute the allegations.
Qatar said in February 2019 that Ahenda’s appointment was approved by the country on October 10, 2018, two months after President Kenyatta named him as Kenya’s envoy to the Middle East nation.
Paddy Ahenda served as Kasipul-Kabondo Member of Parliament between 2006 and 2007.
Ahenda won the March 1, 2006 parliamentary by-election on Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) ticket after the death of the then-MP Peter Owidi, who had won the seat on a NARC Party ticket in the December 27, 2002 General Election.
Ahenda got 18,202 of the 20,671 votes cast, becoming the party’s first and only MP in the National Assembly.
His closest challenger, Gerald Otieno K’Opiyo, the former Kasipul-Kabondo MP, got 1,912 votes. K’Opiyo, who had been area MP between 1992 and 1997, ran on a NARC ticket in the March 1, 2006 by-election.
The mini-poll was marred by a low turn-out due to heavy rains and sporadic violence.
Out of the 63,523 registered voters at the time, only 20,671 (32.45 per cent) casted their ballot.
In the run-up to the December 2007 General Election, Ahenda attempted to win ODM’s ticket through Party primaries in November, but lost to Joseph Oyugi Magwanga, who went on to win the election.
Since Magwanga’s tenure, Kasipul-Kabondo, which was subdivided into two constituencies, has had two more MPs; Silvance Osele of ODM (2013-2017), and the incumbent Eve Obara, also of ODM. Obara is the former Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) Managing Director.
Ever since his ouster in 2007, Paddy Ahenda made unsuccessful attempts at reclaiming the Kasipul parliamentary seat, including in the August 8, 2017 polls.
In the last two years, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs ministry has lost three ambassadors.
On February 16, 2020, Kenya’s Ambassador to South Sudan Chris Mburu died of heart attack in Juba.
On February 19, 2022, Kenya’s Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Wilfred Machage died in Abuja aged 65 after a short illness.
Paddy Ahenda’s death now becomes the third to hit the consulate in a period of two years.
Ahenda, who worked in the banking sector before joining politics, is survived by a widow and four children (two sons and two daughters).