Kenyans Bid Farewell to Former President Kibaki

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Nairobi — Kenya held a state funeral Friday for its third president, Mwai Kibaki, who died last week at the age of 90. Officials are hailing Kibaki for transforming Kenya’s economy and education.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta led other African leaders and tens of thousands of Kenyans in paying last respects to Kibaki.

“We are here not only to mourn an incalculable loss but also to celebrate a magnificent life,” said Kenyatta. “We celebrate a man of faith, a man of family, a man of honor and a man who always put Kenya and Kenyans first.”

Kibaki led the East African nation between 2002 and 2013, when he stepped down after two terms.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was among the leaders who attended the prayer service at Nyayo stadium in Nairobi.

“We remember President Kibaki for the leadership he demonstrated not only to Kenya but also to the African continent,” he said. “We remember him for his commitment to the people of Kenya and indeed to all of us as Africans.”

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Jacinta Njeri, 68, who was among the thousands gathered to remember the late president, said there was no leader like him.

“We remember him for many things,” she said. “He will sponsor our children’s education. He also developed our country. There is no better economist in Kenya than the president.”

Kenya’s third president is praised for transforming the country’s infrastructure, agriculture and education sector. His election in 2002 brought an end to four decades of one-party rule.