Uhuru emotionally recounts 2 am phone call from Bob Collymore before his death

I've lost a very good friend and I have only one disappointment - Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the memorial service for Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore. Uhuru recounts 2 am phone call from Collymore before his death

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday attended the memorial service for Safaricom CEO, the Late Bob Collymore where he recounted details of his last moments with the departed technocrat.

In his tribute, President Kenyatta recounted details of two phone calls he received from Mr Collymore at 2 a.m. during which he relayed the news that he was about to die.

"About three weeks ago I was on a trip to Canada and with the time differences and all, at some odd hour, consistently, for two days in a row, at 2 o'clock in the morning there was a registered call from Bob Collymore.

"So on the second day I picked it up and asked him why he was calling me at 2 am in the morning. He said, 'Ah! I didn't realize you were traveling,' so I told him 'Yeah, I am and it's 2 o'clock in the morning where I am, could I call you when I get back?' [Bob responded] 'There's something a bit urgent I wanted to discuss with you but I suppose it can wait until you return...I made you a promise that I was going to hang around with the company for one more year, but I think I'm going to break that promise,'" President Kenyatta narrated.

He added that he had many questions at the time but before he could ask them, Bob instructed him not to repeat what he had just told him adding that they would discuss it when the President returned.

Uhuru's last conversation with Bob Collymore

An emotional President Kenyatta went on to narrate that he visited Collymore at his Kitusuru home as soon as he got back from Canada and was puzzled that the Safaricom CEO was more interested in the welfare of his family and the company he worked for more than in his own fading health.

"So I got back and I went over to his house. I found him there, he was calm...he said it with a smile on his face, 'As I told you, I'm going to have to break that promise.' So I thought maybe Wambui had given him pressure [to quit, for health reasons] but he told me that he didn't think he had more than a couple of weeks to go," the President recalls that he tried to suggest a few more courses of action with regard to Collymore's myeloid leukemia but he ascertained that he had tried it all, it had not worked and he was giving up.

"We spent the whole afternoon together and my biggest thing was 'why are you talking to me about Safaricom? What about you?' and what he told me was, '...my chapter is closed and I have accepted it. So all I want to know is about the future of this company.

"And we spent about two hours talking about what his vision was, his hope for the company, his dreams and what he thought I should be focused on as part of my own legacy, as President of the country, the focus on corruption and the fight that must be won, the issue of how we should deal with the moral fabric of our country that has collapsed and at the end of the day I asked 'Bob are you sure you want to continue?' and he said 'If you're not in a rush, I'm not in a rush,' and that's how we ended up spending the whole afternoon together.

"I asked him what he then wanted me to do for him, 'You can't do anything for me, I don't need anything, I've sorted out my life, I've sorted out my issues but one thing you can do for me is to make sure you all take care of Wambui and the kids,that's all I want, I don't need anything else.' Well, we're here and it's finally happened, I've lost a very good friend," the President stated.

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