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DP William Ruto: Mwai Kibaki is a testament of bottom-up

Deputy President William Ruto delivers his speech during the State Funeral Service for Former President Mwai Kibaki at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on April 29, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday described Mwai Kibaki as a gift to Kenya and a father of many Kenyans.

The DP spoke at the Othaya Approved School in Nyeri County during Kibaki’s burial mass on April 30.

Ruto said Kibaki served Kenyans wholeheartedly, and that his humble upbringing in Gatuyaini Village prepared him for servant leadership.

The DP likened Gatuyaini Village to Bethlehem where Jesus was born and raised.

“Mwai Kibaki is testament of bottom-up,” he said.

“We must kick the doors of opportunity for many children in this village and in other villages of Kenya, inspired by Mwai Kibaki. They should have the belief that they too can be great for their nation if they work hard and pray,” said the DP.

Ruto described Kibaki as the father of modern-day Kenya, saying he put up the foundation for the transformation of the country.

“Kibaki did not forget the ordinary people,” he stated, giving an example of the boda boda sector that the former president empowered.

Describing his time in Cabinet under President Kibaki, when he was serving as Agriculture minister, Ruto said that the former president’s wisdom and understanding were key in helping him govern.

When he was transferred to the Ministry of Higher Education, Ruto said that Kibaki was, again, key in helping reduce the backlog of students, who were waiting to join institutions of higher learning upon completion of secondary education.

He added that Kibaki played a key role in the roll-out of TVET institutes across the country.

“As we celebrate the third President of Kenya, let us strive to have a peaceful election [on August 9, 2022]. Let’s try and ensure that it won’t be necessary for us to have a [post-election] handshake. We owe it to President Mwai Kibaki as we send him off,” he said.  

Kibaki, who is survived by four children, died aged 90 on April 22 after ailing for more than three months.