Wednesday August 31, 2016 – Former President Mwai Kibaki was discharged from the Netcare Sunninghill Hospital in South Africa yesterday where he was admitted for 10 days and underwent a life threatening but successful neck surgery.
Doctors cleared the former Head of State after a medical review conducted on Monday that granted him a clean bill of health.
However, before discharging him, the South African doctors advised Kibaki to take a bed rest for the next few days before flying back to Kenya for his own good.
This was confirmed by Kibaki’s family who said the former President would be staying at an apartment in Johannesburg before returning home this coming weekend.
“Mzee is likely to be home by Sunday.”
“Arrangements have begun to fly him home after he is fully recovered.”
“He is in very high spirits happy with his progress,” source close to the family said.
The family also requested Kenyans to continue praying for Kibaki so that he can recover fully.
Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H. was born on November 15th, 1931 in Othaya, Nyeri County. He was the third President of Kenya, serving from December 2002 until April 2013.
Kibaki was previously Vice-President of Kenya for ten years from 1978 to 1988 under President Daniel arap Moi. He also held cabinet ministerial positions in the Kenyatta and Moi governments, including time as minister for Finance (1969–1981) under Kenyatta, and Minister for Home Affairs (1982–1988) and Minister for Health (1988–1991) under Moi.
Kibaki served as an opposition Member of Parliament from 1992 to 2002. He unsuccessfully stood as a presidential candidate in 1992 and 1997. He served as the Leader of the Official Opposition in Parliament from 1998 to 2002. In the 2002 presidential election, he was elected as President of Kenya.
On 26 January 2007, President Kibaki declared his intention of running for re-election in the 2007 presidential election. On 16 September 2007, Kibaki announced that he would stand as the candidate of a new alliance incorporating all the parties who supported his re-election, called the Party of National Unity. The parties in his alliance included the much diminished former ruling KANU, DP, Narc-Kenya, Ford-Kenya, Ford People, and Shirikisho.
Kibaki’s main opponent, Raila Odinga, had used the referendum victory to launch the ODM, which nominated him as its presidential Candidate for the 2007 elections.
On 30 September 2007, a robust and much healthier President Kibaki launched his presidential campaign at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi.
Kalonzo Musyoka then broke away from Raila’s ODM to mount his own fringe bid for the presidency, thus narrowing down the contest between the main candidates, Kibaki, the incumbent, and Odinga. Opinion polls up to election day showed Kibaki behind Raila Odinga nationally, but closing suspiciously. On regional analysis, the polls showed him behind Raila in all regions of the country except Central Province, Embu and Meru, where he was projected to take most of the votes, and behind Kalonzo Musyoka in Kalonzo’s native Ukambani. It was thus projected to be a close election between Kibaki and Raila.
The election was held on 27 December 2007. Kibaki successfully won and was sworn in in the evening.
2007–2008: Results dispute and post-election violence
Three days later, after a protracted count which saw presidential results in Kibaki’s Central Kenya come in last, allegedly inflated, in a cloud of suspicion and rising tensions, amid vehement protests by Raila’s ODM, overnight re-tallying of results and chaotic scenes, all beamed live on TV, at the national tallying centre at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in Nairobi, riot police eventually sealed off the tallying Centre ahead of the result announcement, evicted party agents, observers and the media, and moved the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Samuel Kivuitu, to another room where Kivuitu went on to declare Kibaki the winner by 4,584,721 votes to Odinga’s 4,352,993, placing Kibaki ahead of Odinga by about 232,000 votes in the hotly contested election with Kalonzo Musyoka a distant third.
One hour later, in a hastily convened dusk ceremony, Kibaki was sworn in at the grounds of State House Nairobi for his second term, defiantly calling for the “verdict of the people” to be respected and for “healing and reconciliation” to begin. This arose tension and led to protests by a huge number of Kenyans who felt that Kibaki had refused to respect the verdict of the people and was now forcibly remaining in office.
Immediately the results were announced, Odinga bitterly accused Kibaki of electoral fraud. Odinga’s allegations scored with his supporters, and seemed meritorious since the results had defied pre-election polls and expectations and election day exit polls. Furthermore, Odinga, who had campaigned against the concentration of political power in the hands of Kikuyu politicians, had won the votes of most of the other Kenyan tribes and regions, with Kibaki’s victory being attained only with the near exclusive support of the populous Kikuyu, Meru and Embu communities-who had turned up to vote for Kibaki in large numbers after feeling, in reaction to the Odinga campaign, and with the covert encouragement of the Kibaki campaign, increasingly besieged and threatened by the pro-Odinga tribes. Moreover, ODM had won the most parliamentary and local authority seats by a wide margin. A joint statement by the British Foreign Office and Department for International Development cited “real concerns” over irregularities, while international observers refused to declare the election free and fair. The European Union chief observer, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, cited one constituency where his monitors saw official results for Kibaki that were 25,000 votes lower than the figure subsequently announced by the Electoral Commission, leading him to doubt the accuracy of the announced results.
It was reported that Kibaki, who had previously been perceived as an “old-school gentleman”, had “revealed a steely side” when he swore himself in within an hour of being announced the victor of the highly contested election—one where the results were largely in question. Odinga’s supporters said he would be declared president at a rival ceremony on Monday, but police banned the event. Koki Muli, the head of local watchdog, the Institute of Education in Democracy, said called the day the “saddest…in the history of democracy in this country” and “a coup d’etat.”
Opposition supporters saw the result as a plot by Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe, Kenya’s largest, to keep power by any means. The tribes that lost the election were upset at the prospect of five years without political power, and anti-Kikuyu sentiment swelled, spawning the 2007–2008 Kenyan crisis, as violence broke out in several places in the country, started by the ODM supporters protesting the “stealing” of their “victory”, and subsequently escalating as the targeted Kikuyus retaliated. As unrest spread, television and radio stations were instructed to stop all live broadcasts. There was widespread theft, vandalism, looting and destruction of property, and a significant number of atrocities, killings and sexual violence reported.
The violence continued for more than two months, as Kibaki ruled with “half” a cabinet he had appointed, with Odinga and ODM refusing to recognise him as president.
When the election was eventually investigated by the Independent Review Commission (IREC) on the 2007 Elections chaired by Justice Johann Kriegler, it was found that there were too many electoral malpractices from several regions perpetrated by all the contesting parties to conclusively establish which candidate won the December 2007 Presidential elections. Such malpractices included widespread bribery, vote buying, intimidation and ballot stuffing by both sides, as well as incompetence from the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), which was shortly thereafter disbanded by the new Parliament.
2008: National accord and Grand Coalition Government
The Country was only saved by the mediation of former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan with a Panel of “Eminent African Personalities” backed by the African Union, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Following the mediation, a deal, called the national accord, was signed in February 2008 between Raila Odinga and Kibaki, now referred to as the “two Principals”. The accord, later passed by the Kenyan Parliament as the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 provided inter alia for power-sharing, with Kibaki remaining President and Raila Odinga taking a newly re-created post of Prime Minister.
On 17 April 2008, Raila Odinga was sworn in as Prime Minister, along with a power-sharing Cabinet, with 42 ministers and 50 assistant ministers, Kenya’s largest ever. The cabinet was fifty percent Kibaki appointed ministers and fifty percent Raila appointed ministers, and was in reality a carefully balanced ethnic coalition. The arrangement, which also included Kalonzo Musyoka as Vice President, was known as the “Grand Coalition Government”. In that government, Uhuru Kenyatta was deputy prime minister to Raila Odinga.