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Uhuru to lead public in viewing Mwai Kibaki's body at Parliament

Uhuru Kenyatta receives top “A” level history student award from then-VP, Mwai Kibaki, at St Mary's School, Nairobi, 1979. [File, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta will Monday lead Kenyans in viewing the body and paying the last respect to former President Mwai Kibaki at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i, who is also the chairperson of the National State Funeral Committee said the late president will be accorded full military honours and will be escorted in a military gun carriage to Parliament where the body will lie in State for three days ahead of the State funeral on Saturday. 

Kibaki's body will leave Lee Funeral Home at 7.05am and the convoy will snake through Valley Road and Kenyatta Avenue through to Parliament Way.

The former President’s casket will also be draped in the national flag as it is escorted to Parliament by his family.

A military guard of honour will be mounted along Parliament Road for the entry procession into Parliament, where President Uhuru Kenyatta will receive Kibaki’s body at 10am.

Preparations were in top gear yesterday including beefing up security to ensure everything goes to plan.

The Kenya Defence Forces band rehearsed hymns that will be played today.

Kibaki is the third president to be accorded full military honours. The same was accorded to the Founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta when he died in office in 1978 and the second president the late Daniel Arap Moi who passed on in February 2020.

And just like the late former President's, Kibaki's casket which will be draped in the national flag will be escorted by a gun carriage dragged by the military platoon. A practice used by the military to affirm that the deceased is mourned by the nation and appreciated by the state.

President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta are expected to arrive at Parliament at 10.00 am to receive the body and lead the country in paying tribute to Kibaki.

Flags flying at half-mast at Parliament Buildings, Nairobi. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

All other government officials are expected to be at Parliament Buildings by 9.00 am

“All State Officials whose attendance is required by protocol have been notified; and they are therefore requested to be in the precincts of Parliament by 09:00 a.m.”  Dr Matiang'i said.

The public will thereafter have the opportunity to view the body and pay their last respect to former President Kibaki.

“The Government encourages all Kenyans to participate in the State ceremonies and to also take time to honour the memory and legacy of the third President by reflecting on ways in which each one of us can foster the wellness of our nation by creating a more peaceful, loving, and united Kenya,” said Dr Matiang'i.

The three days of lying-in-state and public viewing at Parliament Buildings will be between 09:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m from today through Wednesday ahead of the burial on Saturday in Othaya, Nyeri County.

The body will remain at Lee Funeral home on Thursday.

The military gun carriage and State funeral procession will make its way from State House to the Nyayo Stadium on Friday, the venue of the national State funeral.

The government has already declared Friday a public holiday to enable Kenyans to attend the State funeral.

During the State funeral, Kibaki will be accorded full military honours and protocols, which include, the conveyance of the body under escort in a gun carriage, accompanied by military musical honours and a 19 gun-salute.

Diplomats, dignitaries and close associates who wish to condole with the family will be allowed to do so at Kibaki’s private office in Nyari, Nairobi, beginning Tuesday.

The CS said that a facility will be set up in the Othaya CDF office for the public to pay their condolences and fill the condolence book.

The books will also be made available to the public in all government ministries, the National Assembly and the Senate and in the eight Regional and the 47 County commissioner’s offices across the country from today

 Kibaki passed away on Friday last week at Nairobi Hospital aged 90.