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Those who tasted Mama Lucy Kibaki's wrath forgave her

By Protus Onyango | Apr 28th 2016 | 4 min read
Lucy Kibaki President Mwai Kibaki, First Lady Lucy Kibaki and immediate Family members pose for a photograph during the Promulgation of the new Constitution garden party held at State House, Nairobi.

Former Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara and Director of Police Operations Benson Kibue, say they are not bitter with Lucy Kibaki and have forgiven her. They are among a number of people who faced the wrath of the former First Lady on different occasions.

Mr Kibue, who was head of the presidential escort during Mwai Kibaki’s tenure, condoled with the former President’s family

“I had a good time with Mama Lucy. I have no negative comments about her and as an African, I forgive her and forget whatever bad thing she did to me. I offer my heartfelt condolences to the family,” Kibue said.

Kibue is said to have been replaced by his former deputy at State House, Kitili Mwendwa, following a disagreement with Lucy. It is said that at one point, he was forced to disembark from a plane, when he was to accompany Mr Kibaki to an official visit, on Lucy’s orders.

Mr Mwendwa also left the presidential escort unit after he displeased Lucy. Mwendwa left after the then First Lady found out that Party of National Unity activist Mary Wambui, now Othaya MP, visited Kibaki at his Harambee House office.

He was left out of the security entourage that accompanied Kibaki to Burundi for the country’s 50th independence anniversary.

Colourful Chapter

Mr Imanyara, a renown lawyer, said the passing on of Mama Lucy closes a colourful yet dramatic chapter of the story of Kenya’s State House.

“During Mwai Kibaki’s tenancy therein, State House was one of the most watched Government institutions, with Mama Lucy claiming to have the final say on who should be invited to what she considered her matrimonial home,” Imanyara said.

He added she was a fierce and unapologetic defender of her husband and did not shy away from getting physical if it became necessary.

“When she raided Nation House to protest media coverage of her family, she did not hesitate to assault one Clifford Otieno, a photo and video journalist, who subsequently instructed me to bring a private prosecution against her,” Imanyara said.

He noted that even though the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko terminated the prosecution in a clear case of abuse of office, Mama Lucy never forgave him for instituting proceedings against her.

Imanyara on February 4, 2008 claimed Lucy assaulted him at a meeting at State House.

“My last visit to State House as MP for Central Imenti saw her physically confront me to leave State House in an incident that I regret for reasons I will write about in my memoirs,” Imanyara said.

Imanyara had represented the photojournalist, who sued the First Lady over the slap at the media house.

Kibaki had invited Imanyara and some 35 other MPs to his official residence, where the alleged assault occurred.

“Mama Lucy was in pyjamas and not wearing any shoes. She immediately started throwing punches at me shouting “nobody goes here without my permission”,” Imanyara said.

He said that Kibaki apologised and he had initially decided to keep quiet.

According to Imanyara, the matter was settled when Njuri Ncheke ordered Kibaki to pay him a he-goat.

 Quit Job

“May I take this opportunity to convey my condolences to Kibaki and the other members of his family and may Mama Lucy find the peace that she so much deserves,” he said yesterday.

Former State House Comptroller Matere Keriri, who doubled as private secretary to Kibaki, also narrated how he was forced to quit his job following a fallout with Lucy.

He revealed that holding two positions at a time when the Head of State was recovering from a road accident was a daunting task. Besides his regular duties, he was also made sure Kibaki took his medication on time.

“I held two jobs. Today, those jobs are held by two people. The first one was Comptroller of State House and the other one was Private Secretary to the President, now referred to as Chief of Staff,” Mr Keriri said.

As a private secretary, Keriri was ultimately the diary-holder and gatekeeper for the President—ensuring that his programme ran flawlessly.

Others leaders who were not spared by Lucy were former vice presidents Kalonzo Musyoka, Moody Awori and the late George Saitoti.

Leaders yesterday joined the nation in condoling with the family of former President Kibaki following the death of Mama Lucy.

Narok Governor Samuel Tunai said Lucy lived a life of great service. “In her death, we have lost a tireless defender of girls, and crusader for health rights including HIV and Aids,” he added.

Nominated MP Oburu Oginga sent special condolences from the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga family, saying the family had good working relations with Mama Lucy for a long time.

He said Jaramogi was instrumental in Kibaki’s career having head hunted him from Makerere University to enlist as Kanu Executive Officer. Oburu said he was personally touched by the humility and forthrightness of Lucy during Grand Coalition meetings.

He said she worked well to improve relations between Kibaki and his younger brother Raila Odinga, who was prime minister.

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