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Kibaki used to defend me during Cabinet meetings - Raila

By Dennis Tarus | Apr 30th 2022 | 2 min read
ODM leader Raila Odinga and his wife Ida arrive at the Othaya Approved School during the State Burial of President Mwai Kibaki in Othaya, Nyeri County. [Emmanuel Wanson]

ODM leader Raila Odinga today heaped praises on former President Mwai Kibaki describing him as a great statesman who despite their earlier differences, worked well together in the Grand Coalition Government after the disputed 2007 General Election.

Raila revealed that Kibaki used to defend him at cabinet meetings when he made unpopular decisions during the tenure of the Grand Coalition Government.

The former Prime Minister said he played a big role in the infrastructure development and especially roads which did not sit well with many Kenyans including members of the cabinet.

Raila described how he had to make the difficult decision of demolishing structures that had been built on road reserves to pave way for the mega infrastructural projects of the government.

"I was the one who took the pain of demolishing structures so that we could construct those roads. I was censured in the cabinet but Kibaki defended me," he narrated.

"Kibaki said, kama watu wemejenga kwa barabara ibomolewe! (If people have built structures on road reserves, let them be demolished). What do you want us to do?" 

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

The ODM leader who spoke during the State Burial of the former Head Of State in Othaya, Nyeri County described how together with Kibaki, they created the National Economic and Social Council as a think tank of the government.

He said that is what brought forth the mega infrastructural projects such as Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Konza City among others.

Raila eulogised Kibaki as a leader who had clear foresight and was ready to negotiate and take in new progressive ideas to create a team that was ready to work for Kenyans.

"We are paying tribute to a great Kenyan leader. Fare thee well Mwai Kibaki," Raila said.


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