By Allan Kai & Shirley Wandera
Former president Mwai Kibaki is no more. The news was made public on April 22, 2022 by president Uhuru Kenyatta during a press briefing at State House Nairobi.
Kibaki was the third president of Kenya, having succeeded the late former president Daniel Moi in 2002, thus putting an end to Moi’s 24-year rule over Kenya.
Recognizing the sad event, president Kenyatta called for “national mourning until sunset on the day he will be buried.” Adding that, “All flags will fly at half-mast during this period.”
Kibaki’s presidency has been touted as one that saw a boost in Kenya’s economy, which saw a steady growth due to implementation of strict fiscal and monetary policies.
News of his death elicited different reactions from Kenyans, many of whom took to social media to share their condolences message to the former first family.
One social media user Habel Mwakio commented “Rest in Peace President Mwai Kibaki You defined best not listening to naysayers and instead did what you wanted and saw right. Kenya has lost a gem.”
Popular blogger Robert Alai also took to social media and posted saying “Rest in Peace Mwai Kibaki.”
Mama Racheal Ruto also took to social media commenting on the president’s life in politics saying in part, “Kenya has indeed lost a patriot, a statesman and a humble servant. He lived a beautiful example of what a rewarding calling and noble honor it is to be in public service.”
Mombasa residents offered their condolences to the retired president’s family, praising his free primary school education initiatives and his development record during his two terms in office. They termed his presidency as a time of great economic stability.
“My condolences to the family of Mwai Kibaki. What I appreciate most about his presidency is the fact that he brought free education which I personally benefited from. The economy now and the economy during his presidency is not the same. Cost of living was lower during his presidency, even the national debt was at a reasonable level, compared to where it is now,” said Wycliff Abedi, Mombasa resident.
Boda-boda riders in Mombasa also attributed the existence of their sector to Kibaki’s presidency with one rider commenting that “without him lowering the prices of motorbikes, many youths would remain jobless and would have resorted to crime.”
President Kibaki was 90 years old at the time of his death having been survived by four children: Judy Wanjiku, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagi and Tony Githinji.