November 16, 2018

PS attacked by Al Shabaab in July dies

A government official who was attacked by Al Shabaab militants in Lamu County in July is dead.

Public Works Principal Secretary, Mariam El Maawy, died in South Africa where she was undergoing treatment following the terrorist attack on July 13.

“She succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment in South Africa,” State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu confirmed.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is deeply distressed to learn that Mariam El Maawy has passed away. She was a dedicated public servant; an accomplished architect; and a patriot,” Esipisu said in a statement.

Security forces rescued El Maawy in July from suspected militants who had taken her captive in a remote part of Lamu.

Officers from the Kenya Defence Force (KDF), the General Service Unit, and the Administration Police rescued the PS after she and five other top government officials were kidnapped by the gunmen at Milihoi along the Lamu-Mpeketoni Highway.

Four security officers, including El-Maawy’s driver, were killed in the operation.

Manoah Esipisu’s full statement:

President Uhuru Kenyatta is deeply distressed to learn that Mariam El Maawy has passed away. She was a dedicated public servant; an accomplished architect; and a patriot.

Early in her childhood, she showed a real aptitude for study, and the diligence, which drove her to qualify as an architect at the University of Nairobi, and later to earn a Masters degree in South Africa.

She established a successful practice, which she led for many years, but she never allowed her work to get in the way of public service.

Whether serving as a council member at Mombasa Polytechnic, or leading efforts to conserve Mombasa’s architectural heritage, she found ways to put her knowledge and skill at the service of her community.

Her achievements, her expertise, her public spirit, and her patriotism meant that it was a pleasure for President Kenyatta to invite her to join his administration, as Principal Secretary for Lands — and later as Principal Secretary of Works — in the Ministry of Lands and Housing. She served with distinction in both offices, and her loss will certainly be felt.

President Kenyatta and all who had the honour of working with her will remember her warmth, and her quiet, firm dedication to serving Kenyans to the very best of her ability.

The President prays that Allah rests the soul of PS el-Maawy in peace, and that Allah comforts her family, and all who knew and loved her, in this moment of sorrow and grief.

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