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Queen Elizabeth's message to Kenyans as country mourns Mwai Kibaki

United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II [Reuters]

United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II has mourned Kenya’s third President Mwai Kibaki as the country observes the State Funeral service today.

The queen, in her condolence message, described Kibaki as a great statesman who leaves behind a good leadership legacy.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss," Elizabeth said in her message addressed to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The message was relayed to the President through the British High Commission in Kenya.

Earlier, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu sent her condolence message to Kenya through the director of presidential communications Zuhura Yunus.

“President Samia conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the people of Kenya, and urged Tanzanians to join in solidarity with their neighbours during this difficult period as they mourn the death of their former leader,” said Yunus on Thursday, April 28.

Suluhu declared a two-day mourning period in Tanzania – Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30. During this period, the Tanzania flag will fly at half-mast within Tanzania and at the country’s missions abroad.

Suluhu sent her deputy, Philip Mpango, to the State Funeral service.

At least three sitting presidents confirmed they will attend Kibaki’s State Funeral service at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The three are South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, South Sudan’s Salva Kiir Mayardit and Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde.

Former Malawi President Joyce Banda will also attend the function.

Besides Tanzania’s Vice-President Mpango, two more VPs also confirmed attendance. They are Jessica Alupo of Uganda and Constantino Chiwenga of Zimbabwe.

Rwanda’s Prime Minister Édouard Ngirente will also be in attendance.

Others are the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Patricia Scotland, Sri Lanka’s Special Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor and South Sudan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mayiik Ayii Deng.

Kibaki, who died aged 90 on April 22, will be buried on Saturday, April 30 at his Kanyange Village home in Othaya, Nyeri County. The ex-president died while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital after three months of illness.

Kibaki, who ruled between 2003 and 2013, is survived by four children.

His wife, Lucy Kibaki, died on April 26, 2016, aged 80. She died while receiving treatment at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London, United Kingdom.