Former Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki has sadly passed away at the age of 90. Kibaki’s death was announced by the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kibaki was the third Kenyan president to rule the East African country after independence. He succeeded Daniel Arap Moi who had ruled Kenya for 24 years after having succeeded Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
Kibaki’s tenure was from 2002-2013. He’s best remembered for having built the Kenyan economy that had degenerated because of corruption and decaying infrastructure.
Kibaki was also at the height of tensions in Kenya after having been declared president for a second spell in 2007.
The election results were disputed by Raila Odinga a Luo by tribe and his supporters who have severally ethnically clashed with the Kikuyu to which Kibaki belonged.
Thousands of people died (about 1,100) while about 350,000 were forced to flee their homes. Agricultural production also collapsed whereas the rate of the economy growth took a slump.
Kibaki was also criticized for doing less to help fight corruption that he had inherited from Moi’s regime.
Born to poor farmers in Central Kenya, Kibaki helped hard cattle on his parents farm. Kibaki had a degree in economics from Uganda’s Makerere University in 1955 and a Bachelor of Science degree in public finance from the London School of Economics in 1959.
He was vital in drafting Kenya’s constitution in 1963 the same year they got indepence from Britain.
He quit government in 1991 to form his own Democratic Party and participated in the country’s first multiparty politics in 1997 but lost to Moi.
He however won the election overwhelmingly in 2002 trouncing Moi with about 65% of the vote.
He quit active politics after his second term in 2013 and was rarely seen in public. Together with his wife Lucy who passed away in 2016, Kibaki had four children.