ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga has described the late former President Mwai Kibaki as a true statesman for his commitment in serving the Country.
Speaking at Nyayo Stadium during the State funeral of the former Head of State, Raila said Kibaki’s fight against corruption was beyond reproach, lauding him for his role in uniting the Country especially after the controversial 2007 general election.
“During the post-election violence, talks had collapsed, Kofi Annan invited Kibaki and I and we agreed to forgo our own interests. Some people wanted to access the room to compel Kibaki not to agree to power sharing but he told them everything was okay,” He said.
Raila had the crowd laughing when he remarked, “I don’t know how to eulogize a politician without talking politics” following a directive by the clergy warning leaders against making political statements, but all the same heeded the request.
And while recounting their time together in Government, Raila said, “There were differences while running the Government but we were able to solve them amicably.”
He remembered how his late father Jaramogi Oginga inducted a young Kibaki into politics, narrating a story on how during a visit to Uganda, Jaramogi was introduced to Kibaki then a student at Makerere by President Milton Obote.
Kibaki would be tasked with drafting a manifesto for KANU paving the way for his political journey.
“Today we tell the story of Mwai Kibaki as a youth, as an intellectual, as a politician. We join the family in saying kwaheri to a great patriot,” He said.
He described Kibaki as a gentleman, a man of conviction and a leader who gave ministers freedom to run their ministries so long as they didn’t engage in corruption.
“We maintained our friendship even after he retired as the President, as we mourn, I bring to you condolences of Kenyans from abroad who aren’t here with us,” He said.