Former top Rugby referee Osborne Bulemi is no more. The pioneer referee passed away on the evening of Wednesday 10 October at a Nairobi Hospital.
His departure has been confirmed by the Kenya Rugby Referees Society (KRRS) as well as the Kenya Rugby Union (KRU).
Lost an icon
Speaking to Raga House, the chair of the KRRS Mwangi Karimi said his demise was a great loss not only to match officials most of whom he groomed, but to the larger Kenya rugby family.
"Bulemi was one of the best pioneer referees that we ever had. From a player to being a match official he was instrumental to the growth of the referees society over the years and was one of those that oversaw its transition to over time to the present day,"
"He helped grow KRRS and oversaw the growth of many referees in the country. His passing on is a indeed a huge blow. We have lost an icon."
Upon his death, KRU shared the unfortunate news in a tweet that said;
"The Kenya Rugby Fraternity is mourning the demise of one of our Pioneering Match Officials and Match Officials Manager, Osborne Bulemi, who passed on today (Wednesday). May His soul Rest in Peace."
Bulemi was always called in for the high profile and high stake games such as the Kenya Harlequin vs Impala Kenya Cup final of August 1999, the Impala - Mean Machine Impala Floodlit final in March of the same year, plus a long list of other game at Safari Sevens, the Kenya Cup and Enterprise Cups.
Bulemi had since retired from active participation in rugby matters and in July of 2016 he - alongside Michael Tank Otieno, Robert Sande and Herbert Mwachiro - received a Lifetime Honorary Award during a KRRS Gala.