BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,30TH APRIL,2022– The body of Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki has finally arrived in Nyeri after slightly over four hours of being transported to his rural home in Nyeri for burial slated for today Saturday.
Kibaki was the third head of state in Kenya’s history, serving from December 2002 to April 2013 following the 24-year authoritarian regime of Daniel arap Moi. Kibaki took over from current President Uhuru Kenyatta whose second and final term ends in August.
The cortege escorted by the military left the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi at 7am.
The former president who served Kenya from 2002 to 2012 died on April 22 in what is attributed to sickness and old age.
Circumstances surrounding his death have not been made public officially, but his son Jimmy said last week that he had been ailing for several months, the past three months being the worst.
He is being accorded a state burial with full military honours.
On Friday, a State funeral service was held in his honour at the Nyayo National Stadium attended by thousands, including three foreign heads of state-South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde-and other dignitaries.
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II sent in her condolence message, praising Kibaki’s “lifelong record of service” to the Kenyan people.
“It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership,” the queen said in a message of condolence to President Kenyatta on Thursday.
Kibaki, who trained as an economist in Uganda and London, was elected in 2002 after promising to tackle corruption. But his decade in power was marred by scandals and Kenya’s worst political violence since independence.
In late 2007, his disputed re-election led to violence between the Kikuyu and Kalenjin, two of the country’s largest communities. More than 1,000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced.
However, Kenya experienced strong economic growth under his leadership, notably through his Vision 2030 programme, taken up by Kenyatta, which allowed the launch of major infrastructure projects as well as health and education reforms.
The circumstances of Kibaki’s death have not been made public. His health suffered following a serious car accident in 2002 and he was regularly admitted to hospital in recent years.
The former president is due to be buried on Saturday in the town of Othaya, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Nairobi, where he spent time after leaving office.