By Rogers Wanambwa
KIU, Main Campus – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced the death of former president Mwai Kibaki on Friday April 22.
“It is my sorrowful duty to announce to the nation the passing on of H.E. Emilio Mwai Kibaki, the third President of the Republic of Kenya. H.E. Mwai Kibaki lived a dedicated life of public service. We salute a notable father figure in the chronicles of our Nation. A leader who strove so hard and accomplished so much for his country. A nation he so deeply cherished and served with commitment and an unbending will to improve the lives of our people,” he said.
“As we mourn this immeasurable loss, we recall with eternal gratitude President Kibaki’s patriotic journey in service to his country, which can be traced way back to Kenya's fight for liberation,” he added.
A period of national mourning was declared after announcing his death by President Kenyatta, including the flying of national flags at half-mast, until a state funeral is held for Kibaki.
Kenyatta announced that the late President will be accorded a State funeral with full military honours and protocols.
“The President, the Deputy President, the Chief Justice, Cabinet Secretaries, the Speakers of the National Assembly and Senate, Kenya diplomats abroad and whomsoever else is so authorized by law, shall not fly the national flag on their official motorcade from today until sunset on the day of Kibaki’s internment,” said Kenyatta.
Kibaki had enjoyed good health most of his adult life, and was known to play golf, prominent in the country’s club circuit until he was injured in a 2002 road accident.
However, after leaving office in 2013, Kibaki scarcely engaged in public life. He fell ill in 2016, and government officials and his family rarely issued any information on his health.
Mwai Kibaki entered the National Assembly in 1963 as a Member of Parliament for the Donholm constituency, later renamed Bahati and now Makadara. In 1974, he switched his political base from the capital city to his rural home in Othaya, Nyeri County, where he was elected and served as MP until 2013.
He also held numerous Cabinet positions in the governments of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi.
On joining Parliament in 1963, Kibaki was appointed by Jomo Kenyatta as permanent secretary for the Treasury and, in 1966, became assistant minister for Finance and chairman of the Economic Planning Commission.
Later, he would head the ministries of Commerce and Industry and Finance and Economic Planning.
Kibaki served as vice-president for ten years (1978-1988) under Moi, who died in February 2020.
Photo: Motivation Africa