Born in the morning of November 15th, 1931, Mwai Kibaki was amongst seven other children to their parents John Githinji and Teresia Wanjiku. According to Kibaki’s elder brother, Nderitu, the young Kibaki was nominated to be sent to mission school by his polygamous father, because he was “not very useful in the garden”. The young Kibaki turned out to be a bright student. It was at the Holy Ghost Catholic Missionaries Karima Mission School (now Karima Primary) that Kibaki was baptised Emilio.
As a University Lecturer, a Legislator for Five Decades, a Cabinet Minister, Vice-President, Official Leader of Opposition and finally as Kenya’s Third President, Emilio Mwai Kibaki was an exemplary patriot, whose legacy of civic responsibility will continue to inspire generations of Kenyans.
As a leading figure in Kenya’s post-independence history, Mwai Kibaki earned the respect and affection of Kenyans and other nations worldwide. President Kibaki will forever be remembered as the gentleman of Kenyan Politics, a brilliant debater whose eloquence, acumen and charm won the day, time and again. His input in the Ministry of Finance and as Vice President saw Kenya’s economy grow steadily.
His contributions to the restoration of multi-party democracy as the Leader of the Official Opposition, combined with his track record and profound credentials, made Mwai Kibaki the natural choice for selection as the Opposition’s consensus candidate in the 2002 Presidential Election.
On 30th December 2002, Mwai Kibaki was sworn as the Third President of the Republic of Kenya, where he served as Head of State and Government till 9th April 2013. His administration conceptualised and spearheaded transformation in critical sectors such as Education through the globally lauded Free Primary Education Programme, Infrastructure Developments in Transport and Energy. In the year 2010,Mwai Kibaki played a central role in shepherding Kenya into a new constitution.
As we mourn the passing of an icon, we rejoice in the lifelong companionship he enjoyed with his-now departed wife, Her Excellency Mrs. Lucy Kibaki, their children and extended family. Our sincere condolences to his children - Judy Wanjiku, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagai and Tony Githinji not forgetting their families who are mourning his passing. Mwai Kibaki lives in the hearts of millions of Kenyans, East Africans and Africans who benefitted from his leadership, admired his character and were inspired by his example.
H.E Mwai Kibaki lived a dedicated life of public service. We salute a notable father figure in the chronicles of our nation, whose patriotic journey in service to his country can be traced way back to Kenya’s fight for liberation.
May Kibaki’s family be comforted, may his example be emulated, and may his memory be honoured.