Kenya: Countrymen gave last farewell to former President Kibaki

Nairobi (Kenya), Apr 29 (AP) Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki (90) on Friday paid his last farewell to the countrymen. African leaders also participated in the final farewell program organized with state honours.

Kibaki will be handed over to his ancestral home in central Kenya on Saturday.

Kibaki’s death was announced last Friday. He was praised by the current leaders of Kenya, describing him as a respected statesman.

Officials declared Friday a public holiday in honor of Kibaki, who served as Kenya’s two-time president between 2002 and 2013. Many dignitaries, including the presidents of Kenya, South Africa and South Sudan, attended the funeral ceremony with state honors given to Kibaki in the capital Nairobi.

Kibaki’s body was taken to the National Stadium in an army vehicle decorated with flowers. Hundreds of Kenyan citizens stood by the roadside to catch a glimpse of their late leader.

Mercy Vairaimu, a roadside shop owner, said, “This is the second time I’ve seen something like this. It’s sad.”

Before Kenya became President in 2002, Kibaki served as Minister of Finance, Vice President and Official Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. He was often seen as a gentleman in a country full of more aggressive politicians.

During Kibaki’s election in 2007, his popularity declined due to allegations of victory by the opposition rally Odinga. Odinga alleged that the result was rigged and in fact he had won. Hundreds of people were killed in the ethnic violence that followed.

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