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Kenyans paid tribute to former President Mwai Kibaki in a state funeral service Friday.
Kibaki passed last Friday. He was 90.
Kibaki ruled the country from 2002 to 2013. His death was announced by his successor, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Today was declared a public holiday in his honor.
Kibaki is credited with helping to draft the country’s first constitution. He was also a longtime member of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party. He was elected to Kenya’s first Parliament under independence. He served as finance minister, vice president, and official leader of the opposition in the National Assembly.
Leaders around the world paid tribute to the “gentleman” politician.
“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,” British monarch Queen Elizabeth said in a statement. “The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration.”
Kenyatta also paid tribute to Kibaki as “the gentleman of Kenyan politics” and recognized “his dignity, his diligence, candor and concern for the well-being of all Kenyans.”
“Kibaki was a quintessential patriot whose legacy of civic responsibility will continue to inspire generations of Kenyans long into our future,” Kenyatta said.
Kibaki will be buried on Saturday at his ancestral home in Othaya, Nyeri County.