The people who will dearly miss Lucy Kibaki
27 April 2016, 10:17
Nairobi - Lucy Kibaki, born in 1940 at Mukurwe-ini Nyeri County, was many things to different people. To former President Mwai Kibaki, she was a wife and the mother of his four children. To most Kenyans, she was a no-nonsense first lady who didn't shy away from controversy.
But its the vocal defence of her husband and her family that many people saw as an aggressive character that cast her into limelight through-out her husband's 10 year reign as President.
Lucy's over-protective side where her family was involved would come to light in March 2009 when her husband was compelled to convene a rare press conference at the lawns of State House, to set the record straight that he only had one wife and four children.
"I want to make it very clear that I have only one dear wife Lucy, and I do not have any other. And anybody who knows me and knows my family and knows how I live will know that I have only one wife. And they do not expect any diversion from the reality of life by people telling lies," said Kibaki, with his spouse standing beside him.
Always known to speak her mind, the former teacher had no qualms taking the critics as well as close friends of his husband, head on, giving them a thorough tongue-lashing in a no-holds barred way, as mother or a grandmother would do to a child.
The late former Internal Security minister George Saitoti was a victim of Lucy's stinging tongue after he made what according to the former First lady was 'insensitive remarks' after over 100 people died at the Sachangwan fire tragedy of 2009.
Prof Saitoti, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Police Commissioner Hussein Ali flew to the scene of the accident in Nakuru County, where he said the deadly fire accident should serve as a lesson to the victims and others.
"How can dead people be taught a lesson? How can the minister fly all the way to Molo from Nairobi to say that and hurt the people who are already mourning their dead?" posed a furious Lucy, after visiting some of the victims of fire tragedy admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital.
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"It's unfortunate that we do not have a woman minister at the Internal Security docket. She would have stopped the fire accident. The minister there today waits until he hears there is an accident then makes an appearance. It is his job to ensure the safety of Kenyans," she added.
The media too faced her wrath after rubbing her the wrong way. Accompanied by her security detail, she stormed Nation Media head offices one time, demanding the arrest of a Standard Group reporter who wrote a story about her allegedly visiting a police station to complain about noise levels at party.
Kibaki accused the paper of printing lies about her behaviour, when she disrupted a party for the then outgoing country director of World Bank, Makhtar Diop, who lived next door to her private home.
And it is not only controversy that Lucy was associated with, during the time her husband was in office, shewas concerned with the well-being of the ordinary Kenyans.
Notable during the stint of The former Alliance student during her stint as the first lady was her fight and focus on tackling HIV/AIDs, which was seen an an inspiration to many.
Last seen publicly at an official function on August 27, 2010 during the promulgation of the Constitution at Uhuru Park, where she led the nation in dancing to Emmy Kosgey's Taunet Nelel song, speculations about her ill-health started spreading as early as 2012.
Tongues started wagging even more after the former first lady was conspicuously absent during the swearing in ceremony of third President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kasarani Stadium in April 9.
It was uncharacteristic for Mrs Kibaki to maintain such a low profile, and for such a long time.
Grapevine was full that she could be in poor health- a situation nobody dared publicly talk about or admit, including his family. It was only until last month that reports in a section of the media alleged that she was seriously ill.
Lucy was on Saturday, April 23 transferred to Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London where she passed away early Tuesday.
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