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Mwai Kibaki funeral service set, says Matiang'i

Interior and Coordination of National Government CS Fred Matiangi (centre) with members of National Funeral Steering Committee for the late former President Mwai Kibaki addresses a press conference at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday, April 27 2022. [Samson Wire. Standard]

The critical pieces to ensure the smooth running of the National State Funeral memorial service for the late former president Mwai Kibaki on Friday have been set.

Giving assurance while inspecting the progress of the preparations in Nyayo Stadium today, Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang’i credited the military for what he said, “is professional and doesn’t leave anything to chance”.

Members of the public will be expected to arrive before eight o’clock and await the arrival of the late president’s body before the commencement of the memorial service.

“What we have been fine-tuning here is to ensure that on Friday, we have a successful funeral service that will take place here. We request members of the public to be seated by 8am,” said Matiang’i.

“This is a state funeral. A state funeral has got very set protocols and, in this case, we are led by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and we will observe their protocols,” added the interior CS.

Full military honours and protocols will involve; the conveyance of the body of the former Head of State under escort in a Gun Carriage, accompanied by Military Musical Honours and a 19 gun-salute.

The funeral service will be interdenominational led by the Catholic Church.

Dignitaries from all over the world are expected to be present including heads of state, especially from Neighbouring African countries. 

After the memorial service, the body of the late former head of state will be lying at Lee Funeral home today awaiting transportation to Nyeri on Saturday morning.

Another service will be held at Othaya Approved School before the funeral service at the late president’s home.

“We are all determined to ensure we give president Kibaki the most decent send of that will obey the highest possible standards of a state funeral,” stated Matiang’i.

Yesterday marked the third and last day when the late former president lay in state. Kenyans were again treated to pictures showing the life of the late president. Lined on a wall on the exit from the chamber where the late president’s body rested, the photos showed instances where Kibaki inspected military parades, delivered speeches or sat next to his wife-the late first lady Lucy Kibaki.

These were rare moments- many lost to state archives and media houses- and this impelled Kenyans to stop and take photographs in front of the wall.

Some pictures carried a younger upright walking Kibaki, while other black and white photos took the onlookers on a trip back in time. In the short walk through pictures, Kenyans were able to have a snippet of Kibaki’s expansive time in public service from the time he was a young man serving in the first government, as a senior member of Kanu, the man who led the opposition and a family man and as a father of the nation.

Kibaki passed away on April 22 and has been eulogised as a statesman who despite having a not-so-perfect tenure left a legacy that many remember.