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Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki Passes Away

Published 2 months ago
By Yeshiel Panchia
(Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The former head of state Mwai Kibaki of Kenya has died this morning at the age 0f 90.

The Republic of Kenya’s third president, Mwai Kibaki, has passed away at the age of 90 as announced
this morning. He had served during a critical time for the country as it transitioned from a one-party
state to a democracy, overseeing an economic boom and educational reform, but was also reportedly
seen as controversial due to a lack of effective control against corruption.

Kibaki’s passing was announced this morning by Kenya’s current head of state President Uhuru
Kenyatta during a briefing at the State House in the country’s capital, Nairobi.

“… A deeply devoted family man… and an earnest friend to many,” said President Kenyatta of the late
Kibaki. “While Emilio Mwai Kibaki is no longer with us in body, his spirit, legacy, values and ideals
live on in each one of us and in the limitless ways that he made Kenya immeasurably better.”

President Kenyatta has ordered that the country mourn the loss of former President Kibaki, with flags
being flown at half-mast and Kibaki being provided a state funeral with full military honors.

His early life saw him educated at both Makerere University and the London School of Economics,
before beginning his political career as an elected official in Parliament, serving on various portfolios
through almost three decades. He was elected president in 2002, shortly after the end of one-party
rule in Kenya.

Kibaki’s efforts were noted in both education and economic development, where he oversaw a
program allowing free public education for primary school children, allowing an estimated additional
1 million children to receive this opportunity.

He also oversaw major infrastructure growth across the country in the form of roads and transit, and
resurrection of the Kenyan economy, with the country’s GDP rising to 7% per annum from just 0.6%
over the first term of his presidency (Business Daily, 2013).

However, Kibaki’s detractors have criticized him for his lack of efforts on combating corruption,
despite having campaigned in part on an anti-corruption campaign.

Despite this, he will be remembered as a fundamental actor in Kenya’s history, particularly during its
transition into a multi-party democracy and African power.

“Mwai Kibaki lives on in the hearts of millions of Kenyans… who benefited from his leadership, admired his character and were inspired by his example,” continued President Kenyatta.

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