Let us honour Kibaki with a peaceful election, appeals DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto Saturday made an impassioned plea for a peaceful election in honour of the late President Mwai Kibaki.

While paying tribute to Kenya’s third President who died last Friday, April 22, aged 90 years, Ruto said the country owes it to the retired President to ensure a peaceful poll and transition that will not necessarily end up with a handshake as has been witnessed previously to quell tensions.

“Let us make sure that the election will be peaceful and that it will not be necessary to have a handshake, we owe it to President Mwai Kibaki as we send him off,” he told mourners who attended the State burial Service at the Othaya Approved School Grounds in Nyeri County.

Ruto who served in Kibaki’s cabinet went on to recount the personal relationship he had with the former President and had his back when he was facing trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague.

President Kenyatta and the DP took over the reins of power in 2013 to form the next government after a hotly contested general election. Thereafter Kibaki who had served two terms proceeded to peacefully hand over the mantle to the duo.

“As we celebrate Mwai Kibaki we must remember that in him we had an embodiment of the unity of our nation. When my boss, President Kenyatta, and I were in trouble with the ICC cases Mwai Kibaki stood was a father to us.  When my boss, President Kenyatta, and I were in trouble with the ICC cases Mwai Kibaki was a father to us” he narrated.

He reminded Kenyans that Kibaki laid the foundation of the resources they enjoy today describing him as the father of modern Kenya.

“If there is a demonstration of bottom-up, we can learn from Mwai Kibaki… Mwai Kibaki is the father of modern-day Kenya, he planted the seeds of what has become the greatest transformation of our infrastructure” he said.

Adding that he was a leader who was keen on uplifting the living standards of Kenyans.

“As he build the infrastructure, he did not forget the ordinary people and that is why he made sure motorbikes were zero-rated and that is when bodaboda, one of the thriving sectors came into being. Today it is a big sector. He was great but all simple” said the DP.

Citing some of the outstanding achievements, Ruto said it was during Kibaki’s reign that the first fertilizer subsidy and a double university intake were unveiled including the rolling out of  technical colleges known as TVETs

Accomplishments the DP said he steered under Kibaki’s guidance while serving as a minister in education and Agriculture dockets.

“At a very personal again when I become his minister for agriculture and I went see him about the challenges I had.  His wisdom and understanding gave us the opportunity to reduce the prices of fertiliser. The first subsidy in Kenya was brought about by Kibaki” Ruto explained.

“When I was promoted to the ministry of higher education and had a backlog of university students under his guidance again, we managed to have another double intake. Rolling out of TVETs programme was done then and to date, we have close to 200 colleges … …so I am a witness and can bear testimony to the accomplishments” he added.

He said the former President inspired many that given an opportunity they too can realise their dreams in their nation if they work hard and pray.

The former President was laid to rest at 5.15 pm at his Munyange home, in Nyeri County. The  Kenya Defence Forces fired 19 cannons in honour of the retired President who led the country for 10 years.

The private ceremony was conducted in accordance with military rites.



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