Retired president Mwai Kibaki made an unusual request at Parliament buildings during the viewing of his predecessor’s body that is lying in state.
The former head of state, Kibaki’s convoy made its way to Parliament buildings at around 11.35 a.m. and left at noon.
The former president’s family, however, requested that the media be barred from airing live pictures of Kibaki entering the building or viewing Moi’s body, raising eyebrows.
Civilians were also temporarily barred from accessing Moi’s body as Kibaki approached. After he saw the body, Kibaki spent some time with Moi’s sons Gideon and Raymond before leaving Parliament.
Allegations that the Kibaki family’s request was informed by mobility challenges on the former President’s part were, however, quashed as images surfaced showing an upright Kibaki paying his last respects to the man he succeeded.
Moi ruled for 24 years between 1978 and 2002 before handing over power to Kibaki in a historic moment at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
While a section of Kenyans continued to raise concerns over Kibaki’s absence from the public eye during Moi’s high-profile send-off, others took to social media to express their relief on seeing Kibaki and their admiration for the former president.
“It would be good to see frequent pictures and video interviews and chats of retired Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. Kill the conspiracy theories and allow Mzee [to] live his life without constant rumours about his health and well-being,” advised journalist Saddique Shaban.
“I like Kibaki’s shoes. The guy was a good president,” observed Koome Kimonye, referring to his stylish black Air Jordan sneakers.
“Kibaki is truly not a public person. He loves his privacy,” argued Lee Rosasi.
“Seeing the convoy of Hon President Mwai Kibaki in Parliament this Sunday morning makes me teary. We must celebrate him now. Let’s mourn the passing on of Moi first,” wrote Kipkeleny Tulwo.
Kibaki has largely kept away from the limelight since he left the presidency in 2013. He was pictured signing the condolence book as he mourned Moi on Saturday, February 8.
“As the political atmosphere in Kenya progressively underwent a transformation, so did President Moi. To his credit, it is during his tenure as Head of State when political pluralism was reinstated in Kenya.
“Clearly, the return of multi-partyism has opened up Kenya’s democratic space in ways hitherto unimagined. President Moi’s abiding charisma was best exhibited in 2002 when he oversaw an unprecedented smooth transition of power as he proceeded to his retirement.
“His willingness to readily usher the next Head of State remains a badge of honour on his leadership as well as statesmanship credentials,” Kibaki noted in a statement sent to
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