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Mwai Kibaki: The final bow (Photos)

Today marks the final bow for Kenya's third President Mwai Kibaki.

A day after President Uhuru Kenyatta led the nation to mark his predecessor's State Funeral Service at the Nyayo National Stadium in the capital, mourners will today for the final time bid goodbye to former Commander-In-Chief at his rural Othaya home.

The funeral cortege of former President Mwai Kibaki departs Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi, for Othaya in Nyeri County ahead of today's State Burial Service. [PSCU]

President Kibaki's funeral cortege departed Lee Funeral Home at 7 am in Nyeri County ahead of the State Burial Service which will be held at Othaya Approved School Grounds in Othaya town.

Kibaki served as Othaya Constituency MP for a record 35 years in his long public service career spanning five decades.

The funeral cortege of former President Mwai Kibaki before it departed from Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi City County for Othaya in Nyeri County. [PSCU]

The Jaguar KDF hearse escorted by the military traversed Kiambu, Murang'a, Kirinyaga and Nyeri Counties to give Central Kenya residents an opportunity to bid farewell to the former president.

The funeral cortege of former President Mwai Kibaki departs Nairobi for Othaya in Nyeri County. [PSCU]

Mourners from all parts of the country started arriving at Othaya Approved School Grounds as early as 4 am.

Among those who had arrived by 10 am include Speakers Justin Muturi (National Assembly), Kenneth Lusaka (Senate), Governors Ann Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Mwangi Wa Iria (Muranga), James Nyoro (Kiambu) Lee Kinyanjui (Nakuru), Anyang' Nyongó among others. 

Along the route, Central Kenya residents came out to bid farewell to former President Mwai Kibaki. [PSCU]

Cabinet Secretaries Fred Matiang'i (Interior), George Magoha (Education), Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Gichuki Mugambi (Othaya) and former elected leaders led by William Kabogo and Peter Kenneth have also arrived. 

Others include Kenya Kwanza leaders Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangúla.

Security is tight with military, GSU officers manning the grounds which is full to its capacity as they screen people accessing the place.

Mourners queue outside the Othaya Approved School grounds. [Kibata Kihu]

Members of the public are only being allowed to use the gate near the newly-named Mwai Kibaki Hospital while the other one near the Approved School main compound is being used by VIPs. 

Before being allowed to the venue one has to empty his pockets and get frisked with a metal detector by hawk-eyed GSU officers stationed at the entrance.

The National Youth Service (NYS) is also in charge of controlling the crowd and directing the public to where to sit inside two large marquees on the school grounds. 

GSU officers frisk mourners as they entered the Othaya Approved School grounds. [Kibata Kihu]

Once inside, the mourners were being given a loaf of bread, a disposable half-litre soda and a bottled water bottle before taking their seats in either of the two giant tents.

Police officers have erected roadblocks on all roads leading in and out of Othaya town with the most notable ones being at Gachami and Kiriani as well as Karima and the road leading to the former president's home which is approximately less than two kilometres from the grounds.

Several choppers have landed at Othaya Boys High School with government dignitaries. 

Mourners at the Othaya approved School in Nyeri County on  April 30, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Dr Kihara Kibiru a local who works in Nairobi had to start his journey at midnight to ensure that he secures a seat at the stadium where around 15,000 mourners are expected. 

"I grew up knowing Kibaki as our area MP and at one time he sponsored my education. I had to wake up early to pay my last respects," said Kibiru.

Former President Mwai Kibaki's casket being wheeled into the Othaya Approved School grounds by members of the military. [Kibata Kihu]

Others like Muriithi Ngahu, 71, from Chinga Ward arrived at the stadium at 4.30 am to get a seat would be closer to the main podium. 

Former President Mwai Kibaki's family members as they entered Othaya Approved School grounds. [Kibata Kihu]

 

"He was an iconic leader who transferred our area in terms of development and I had to brave cold to be here," Ngahu said.

Multiple security layers could be witnessed at the approved grounds as various dignitaries were ushered to their seats.

A wall is mounted with pictures depicting the life of former President Mwai Kibaki at the Othaya Approved Grounds. [Elvis Ogina]

The requiem will be led by Nyeri Archbishop Antony Muheria alongside 50 other inter-denominational religious leaders with the Othaya Catholic Church providing entertainment.

As was witnessed since the death of the former Commander-In-Chief last Friday, Kibaki's body will be accorded full military honours including a 19-gun salute.

An elderly woman makes her way to the Othaya Approved School grounds for former President Mwai Kibaki's State Burial Service. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta landed at the Othaya Boys High School aboard a military chopper at 10 am and was received by Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa and Nyeri Township MP Ngunjiri Wambugu.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret arrive for the Kibaki State Burial in Othaya, Nyeri County. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga also landed at the same venue almost 10 and 15 minutes later in quick succession.  

Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Rachel arrive for the Kibaki State Burial in Othaya, Nyeri County. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

 

ODM leader Raila Odinga and Ida Odinga at Kibaki's State Burial in Othaya, Nyeri. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The body was transferred to the military gun carriage at 10.50 am and was escorted inside the grounds 15 minutes later accompanied by members of the Kenya Defence Forces and the late president's family.