Former KCB chairman, famed scholar Kipkorir succumbs to cancer

A former executive chairman of Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), Benjamin Kipkorir, who successfully oversaw the partial privatisation of Kenya’s first State-owned corporation has died.

Dr Kipkorir, 75, a renowned scholar, former Kenyan ambassador to the US, and ex-non-executive chairman of General Motors Kenya, passed away at his Spring Valley home in Nairobi after a long battle with cancer.

He was appointed the executive chairman of KCB in September 1983, a position he held for eight years.

He also sat on the boards of several other companies including Mabati Rolling Mills and Credit Reference Bureau.

He was the author and editor of several books and many articles including the most recent, ‘‘Descent from Cherang’any Hills: Memoirs of a Reluctant Academic’’ which was published by Macmillan in 2009 and ‘‘The Marakwet of Kenya and The Descent from Cherangani.’’

Government officials and educationists mourned the scholar.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, in a statement from South Africa, said: “Dr Kipkorir was a great scholar who put Marakwet in the international map with his globally acclaimed work. I benefited a great deal from his knowledge and advice while working with the taskforce on devolved government.”

Dr Kipkorir was the first Marakwet boy to be admitted to Alliance High School and later proceeded to Makerere University in Uganda and then Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

In December 1969, he joined the University of Nairobi as a lecturer in the History department and was promoted to the position of senior lecturer before moving to the Institute of African Studies as a director.

He was an official of the Kenyatta University Council.

He served as ambassador to the US from 1994 to 1997, after which he retired from public service. Former MPs Francis Mutwol, John Marimoi, Robert Kipkorir, Lucas Chepkitony said Dr Kipkorir was a role model in society.

‘‘Dr Kipkorir will be remembered for his dedicated service to the people of Kenya and the international community,’’ said Mr Murkomen.
“We have lost a technocrat and resourceful person in our community,” said Jebii Kilimo, a former Cabinet minister.