Kenya: Govt Declares Friday a Public Holiday for Kibaki’s State Funeral

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Nairobi — The govt has declared Friday April 29 a public holiday to accord former President Mwai Kibaki a State Funeral.

The announcement was made by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fed Matiangi who is also the chairman of the National Steering Committee on the State Funeral.

Kibaki, who died aged 90, served as the country’s third president from December 2002 to April 2013, taking over from the authoritarian rule of Daniel arap Moi.

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“The former head of state will be given a state funeral with the highest honours because of the distinct service he rendered to our country,” Matiangi said.

Kibaki, whose political career dated back to the birth of independent Kenya, will be buried next Saturday at his home in Othaya in the Nyeri highlands, he said.

“The burial ceremony will be preceded by a funeral service on Friday at the Nyayo National Stadium” in Nairobi, and his body will lie in state at Kenya’s parliament from Monday to Wednesday to allow citizens to pay their respects, the minister said.

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Condolences poured in from Kenyan politicians, African leaders, the African Union and former colonial ruler Britain when Kibaki’s death was announced on Friday.

His rule saw the most violent election in Kenya’s history when more than 1,100 people died in ethnic battles after disputed 2007 polls, but he also oversaw the adoption of a new constitution with reforms aimed at preventing such unrest.

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Kibaki left a legacy of strong growth in the regional economic powerhouse, launching major infrastructure projects and boosting the struggling health and education sectors.

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