Kenya’s former president Mwai Kibaki died at the ripe old age of 90 on 22nd April 2022, we decided to take a look back at 8 key facts Kenyans will remember him for:
1. The speech he made during a press conference at State House confirming to media in Kenya that he had only one wife and it was the late Lucy Kibaki.
The president was made to issue this statement: “I want to make it very clear that I have only one dear wife, Lucy,” deceased former Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki famously declared in 2009.
2. He possessed excelled carpentry and masonry skills as a high school student as this was part of the learning curriculum then.
3. He spear headed the decisions and execution of the Thika Super Highway and was recognised as a great economist.
4. He was an advocate of free primary education and under his leadership Kenya was able to achieve free primary and secondary school education in any public/government owned institution.
He also shun parents who refused to take their children to school despite government efforts saying they were very useless and should be slapped which in kiswahili is, “Mtu kama huyo ni bure kabisa, anahitaji kutwangwa makofi”
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5. He ended the 24 year rule that was carried out by his predecessor the late former president Daniel Arap Moi and ruled Kenya for two terms of 11 years.
6. He delivered most of his humour and commentary in kiswahili. One of his most notable humorous lines was mavi ya kuku, which loosely translates into chicken droppings.
7. After he was apparently rigged in the 1988 mlolongo election, he angrily protested with one of his famous statements: “Even rigging requires a bit of intelligence”.
8. Mwai Kibaki worked as a bus conductor in his youth to earn a bit of money. Details from the Ministry of ICT publication, the Kenya Yearbook, revealed he once worked for the Othaya African Bus Union over the school holidays.
Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta had fond words to say about the former president as he announced the death to the country during a formal address.
President Kenyatta said, “”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.”