Former President Mwai Kibaki dies at 90

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The late former President Mwai Kibaki (file photo)
The late former President Mwai Kibaki (file photo)

Former President Mwai Kibaki is dead.

His death was announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday.

“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  nation he so deeply cherished and served with commitment and an unbending will to improve the lives of our people,” said President Uhuru

After announcing his death, President Kenyatta declared a period of national mourning, including the flying of national flags at half-mast until a state funeral is held.

Kibaki served as the third President for 10 years (2002-2013) and as MP for 50 years (1963-2013).

He joined the National Assembly in 1963 as Member of Parliament for Donholm constituency, subsequently renamed Bahati and now Makadara. In 1974, he shifted 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 various Cabinet positions in the governments of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi.

Upon 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. He later headed the ministries of Commerce and Industry, and Finance and Economic Planning.

Kibaki also served as vice-president for 10 years (1978-1988) under Moi, who died in February 2020.

Kibaki was born on 15 November 1931 in Thunguri village, Othaya division of Kenya’s then Nyeri District now Nyeri County.He was the youngest of  Kibaki Githinji and Teresia Wanjiku.