African Leaders Storm Kenya for Ex-President Kibaki’s Funeral

African Leaders Storm Kenya for Ex-President Kibaki’s Funeral (News Central TV)
FILE – Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki listens to former U.N Secretary General Kofi Annan after signing a power-sharing agreement with opposition leader Raila Odinga following weeks of bitter negotiations on how to end the country’s deadly postelection crisis, in Nairobi, Feb. 28, 2008. Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki has died at the age of 90. Kibaki’s death was announced Friday, April 22, 2022 by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who said it his passing was a “sad day” for the country and praised his predecessor as a great Kenyan. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, who died a week ago at the age of 90, will be honored with a state funeral on Friday.

Several African presidents and other world leaders have already confirmed their attendance, including Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Salva Kiir of South Sudan, and Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia.

Three vice-presidents have also confirmed attendance. They are Philip Mpango of Tanzania, Jessica Alupo of Uganda and Constantino Chiwenga of Zimbabwe.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente will also be in attendance.

Rwandan PM Édouard Ngirente

Others are the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland, Sri Lanka’s Special Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mayiik Ayii Deng.

The funeral would begin at 8am East African time at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital. To enable access to the venue, major roads in the city have been closed.

Kenyans have been queuing for many days to pay their respects to the late president, viewing his body at parliament where it laid in state.

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Kenya has declared Friday a national holiday to allow Kenyans to mourn and attend the funeral.

Also, Tanzania has declared two days of mourning in solidarity with Kenyans, beginning on Friday.

The death of the former President sparked reactions last week with leaders in Kenya paying tribute to the ex elder statesman.

Odinga, a Kenyan politician, presidential hopeful and businessman who served as the Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013, described the deceased ex-leader as ‘a forthright leader’.

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When he worked with and under Kibaki, the ODM leader stated the late President was a wonderful team player who inspired his ministers.

Raila said in his tribute; “I have had the pleasure of working with Kibaki, first as MP during the 7th Parliament, second as his minister for Roads and Public Works and finally as his Prime Minister where we shared the grand coalition government.

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ODM Leader Raila Odinga

“Nobody was better than Kibaki when it came to creating team spirit and in inspiring his ministers.”

Deputy President William Ruto, who was on the campaign trail in Kakamega County, commiserated with Kibaki’s family, saying: “We have lost a great son of our country and a great leader. He has laid a solid foundation upon which the rest of us, leaders, today are building on. To his family and to the people of Kenya, tunasema pole sana.”

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Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi, who was also on the campaign trail with Ruto in Kakamega, wished Kibaki eternal rest. He said:

“Kibaki was a politician who stood very firm and laid the foundation for the economic fruits that Kenya is experiencing today, and indeed a politician whom Kenyans voted for overwhelmingly against all odds in 2002. Kenya has lost an illustrious son, a great economist who contributed to Pan-Africanism, who stood out and worked to lay our blueprint today.”

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Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua who was former Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister in Kibaki’s Government said: “My condolences to the family and friends of the late President Mwai Kibaki. His enormous contribution to nation-building before and during his presidency will forever be remembered. Our prayers are with his family.”

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