Deputy president William Ruto has described the late president Mwai Kibaki is a gentleman who had dreams that abides.
Ruto said that Kibaki is a man of many excellent attributes and colossal accomplishments.
“A prodigious scholar, brilliant technocrat, visionary statesman, successful politician and inspired Pan-African, he left his mark everywhere he worked. In both word and deed, Mwai Kibaki expressed his vision for how we can live in freedom and prosperity by working every day towards dignity and self-sufficiency,” Ruto said in a statement on Friday.
The statement follows president Uhuru’s speech where he announced the death of Kibaki.
“I join you in mourning a truly unique and iconic Kenyan whose immensely rich and highly exemplary life has blessed our nation with countless tangible and intangible legacies whose impact shall endure for many generations to come,” Ruto said.
Ruto said that Kibaki was born into a humble family struggling, as did millions of other Kenyans, at the bitter end of colonial domination. By applying himself admirably to his studies in threadbare rural schools, he nevertheless excelled and joined the Holy Ghost College, Mang’u, where his abundant intellectual gifts blossomed.
During that time, Kibaki proved industrious in and out of school, assisting his parents in various subsistence tasks, and even working as a bus conductor to raise much-needed resources to finance his education.
Through his discipline, focus and dedication, Mwai Kibaki once again excelled in his studies and was accepted to Makerere where he emerged first of the class of 1955 with first class honours in Economics, (Economics Political Science and History). This earned him a scholarship to study Public Finance at the London School of Economics, where he scored a distinction.
He returned to Makerere to teach, before he was offered a position as the Executive Officer of Kenya’s liberation movement, KANU.
Mwai Kibaki served government as a permanent secretary in the ministry of Finance.
Afterwards, he successfully contested a parliamentary seat at Donholm constituency, and became an assistant minister at independence, before shifting gear to represent Othaya for the rest of his political career. In that time, Mwai Kibaki rose to the position of minister, becoming a celebrated minister of Finance, and later Vice president as well as minister in various portfolios.
Mwai Kibaki served his government, party and president loyally, diligently and courageously until 1991, when he resigned to start his party and political career in the opposition.
Ruto said that he remained steadfast, courageous, intellectual robust, visionary and patriotic. His consistency, love for his country and her people, refusal to embrace tribal politics and willingness to collaborate with a broad spectrum of like-minded actors was finally rewarded in 2002, when his Rainbow Coalition easily overran KANU, a decades-old behemoth.
“Mwai Kibaki served as president for a decade that now seems to be Kenya’s golden years. Finally, he had the opportunity to prove his propositions, and he did not disappoint. An implacable meritocrat, he tapped into Kenya’s rich talent bank and appointed technocrats and other highly qualified professionals to impactful leadership positions in his government,” Ruto said.
He then empowered them to run their dockets while firmly holding them accountable for their decisions. The result was a government that hummed with purpose, unlocking an optimism in the nation that propelled economic growth from its historic lowest to its highest.
In an inspired decade, Kenya was transformed right before our eyes, and we learned that with legitimate, commitment and the support of the people, all is possible: yote yawezekana. Mwai Kibaki taught Kenyans that the secret of a prosperous future does not lie in abundant natural resources, it lies in them.