Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki died on Friday 22, April, after a long battle with unspecified disease. However, it is in public domain that just three months before he won the 2002 presidential election and succeeded his predecessor Daniel arap Moi, Kibaki was seriously injured in a road accident that left him with a broken leg, ribs and his neck required a brace to hold up his head.
The death of Kibaki was announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the capital Nairobi shortly after midday, touching off public reaction that truncated political campaigns for the August 9 General Election. Election campaign have dominated national discourse for the better part of this year.
In making the announcement, President Kenyatta said in a televised address:
“It is my sorrowful duty to announce to the nation the passing on of HE Emilio Mwai Kibaki, the Third President of the Republic of Kenya. HE 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.”
For the 10 years Kibaki was in power, he turned around a moribund economy that had slid to below 1.4 per cent growth by 2002, injecting dynamism in growth short to over six per cent at the time of retirement in 2013. In retirement, he was hardly ventured into public, even on important national days, sparking unqualified rumours about his health.
“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,” President Kenyatta said.
He added that Kibaki will be remembered as a gentleman in Kenyan politics and a brilliant debater with immense contributions in the country’s finance ministry.
Kibaki, who also served as Kenya’s fourth vice president ended the late President Moi’s more than two decades rule in 2002 when he took over power as Kenya’s third President.
President Kibaki was the only surviving former president after the second President Daniel Moi died in 2020.
During the proclamation, President Kenyatta announced a period of national mourning in respect of Mr Kibaki who is credited for transforming the country following decades of KANU’s misrule.
- A Tell report