By Ivan Mwine
It is a black Friday for Kenya and other people across the East African region following the death of former Kenyan president Mwai Kaibaki.
H.E. Emillio Stanley Mwai Kibaki, who was the third President of the Republic of Kenya, passed away Friday morning aged 90 years old.
His unfortunate demise was made public by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who announced the shocking news at State House Kenya, Nairobi.
President Kenyatta lauded Kibaki for his great leadership and statesmanship.
Mwai Kibaki will forever be remembered as a gentleman in Kenyan politics and a brilliant debater.
Emilio Mwai Kibaki better known as Mwai Kibaki, was a Kenyan politician who served as the third President of Kenya from December 2002 until April 2013.
He had previously served as the fourth Vice-President of Kenya for ten years from 1978 to 1988 under President Daniel Arap Moi.
Kibaki, a member of the Kikuyu people, attended Makerere University (B.A., 1955) in Uganda and the London School of Economics (B.Sc., 1959).
He then worked as a teacher before becoming active in the Kenyan struggle for independence from Great Britain.
After Kenya became independent in 1963, he won a seat in the National Assembly as a member of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party.
He later served as minister of finance (1969–82) and vice president (1978–88) but increasingly found himself at odds with President Daniel Arap Moi, who headed KANU.
In 1991 Kibaki resigned his membership in KANU to form the Democratic Party.
Kibaki unsuccessfully challenged Moi in the presidential elections of 1992 and 1997, though in 1998 he became the official head of the opposition.
With Moi constitutionally barred from seeking another presidential term, Kibaki sought the presidency for a third time.
In September 2002 he helped create the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), a multiparty alliance that nominated Kibaki as its presidential candidate.
A few weeks before the election, Kibaki was involved in a car accident and suffered serious injuries.
Although he was confined to a wheelchair, he continued his campaign and easily defeated Moi’s chosen successor, Uhuru Kenyatta (a son of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president), who is the current Kenyan president.