Leaders pay tribute to Kenya's ex-president Mwai Kibaki

Friday April 22 2022
President Mwai Kibaki.

President Mwai Kibaki. PHOTO | FILE


Regional leaders on Friday joined Kenyans in mourning former president Mwai Kibaki, following the announcement of his death.

At a press conference on Friday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that the former Head of State had died and said that Kenya will observe a period of national mourning until Kibaki is buried.

Kibaki died at the age of 90.

Condolence messages poured in from leaders in Kenya and beyond, with most of them praising Kibaki for his leadership of the country.


President Uhuru Kenyatta eulogised Kibaki as “a quintessential patriot, whose legacy of civic responsibility will continue to inspire generations of Kenyans long into the future."


Raila Odinga, the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party leader, said Kibaki was instrumental in Kenya's economic progress, and was keen on looking at the financial aspects of government both as a finance minister and president.

"Even as President, Mwai Kibaki never stopped being finance minister. His eyes were always on the National Treasury and his mind permanently on revenue and expenditure. Figures had to add up and projects had to be initiated only when he was convinced he would be able finance them," Mr Odinga said.

Mr Odinga served as Prime Minister in the Kibaki regime from 2008 to 2013.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka praised Kibaki for promulgating Kenya's August 2010 Constitution, "heralded as one of the most progressive constitutions in Africa."

He further praised Kibaki's style of leadership, saying "Kibaki listened; he empowered his lieutenants."

He further attributed the growth of the economy to Kibaki's leadership.

Several other leaders in Kenya sent condolence messages to Kibaki's family, praising the former Head of State for his achievements during his tenure.  


On his official Twitter page, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he received "sad news" of Kibaki's passing and on behalf of Ugandans, he was sending condolences for the loss of "a Great Statesman".

He praised Kibaki for the role he played in Kenya's socio-economic transformation, peace, development and security.

"Mzee Mwai Kibaki was a transformational leader and a true Pan-Africanist," Museveni said.

Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan said she was "deeply saddened" by Kibaki's death.

"Africa has lost one of its finest sons and a dedicated public servant. My condolences to H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, the bereaved family and all,” she said.

Burundi's Head of State Evariste Ndayishimiye said, “It is with deep sorrow and sadness that I learnt of the passing of H.E. Mwai Kibaki, former President of Kenya. My deepest condolences to his family, to my brother Uhuru Kenyatta and to all the people of Kenya. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

The East African Community secretariat also sent a condolence message to Kenya saying, “East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat conveys deepest sympathy to the family, Government and people of the Republic of Kenya following demise of His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, former President of Kenya today on April 22 2022.”

Somaliland President Muse Bihi also sent his message of condolence to Kenya, saying he is "deeply saddened" by Kibaki's death. "The people of Somaliland join Kenyans in mourning Kibaki," he added.

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame also mourned Kibaki, saying, "His dedication to the economic transformation of Kenya and his work towards regional integration will be remembered for many generations. The people of Rwanda stand with Kenya during this time."

The Somaliland Representative Office in Kenya also sent a condolence message to Kenyans and Kibaki's family.

"We honour his legacy and mourn with his family, friends and the people of Kenya," the Somaliland mission in Kenya said.

The Ethiopian Embassy said Kibaki was "a true friend of Ethiopia."

"The Embassy would like to express its deepest condolences and wishes the Government, the people of the Republic of Kenya and the bereaved families to bear the loss of the true son of Africa."

The world

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) boss, Workneh Gebeyehu, conveyed his deepest sympathies Kenya and Kibaki's family, adding that "the region shares the grief in the loss of an iconic leader & visionary statesman who promoted peace and unity."

The European Union joined Kenyans in mourning the leader, saying that the global community as a whole had lost a true elder statesman who dedicated his life to public service.

“His achievements for Kenya since independence in many different roles - as President, Member of Parliament, and Leader of the Opposition - are innumerable. Many Europeans will remember H.E. Hon. Emilio Mwai Kibaki foremost as the flagbearer, and then implementer, of Kenya’s return to fully fledged multi-party democracy. For this achievement, he retains Europeans’ sincerest respect and admiration,” the EU added.

Additional reporting by Aggrey Mutambo, James Anyanzwa and Jonathan Kamoga