How do we remember and honour Mwai Kibaki?

3 mins read

He was a genius in economics there is no doubt about that. The president passed away a few days ago and will be buried at his home in Othaya on Saturday, April 29, 2022. May he rest in eternal peace and reverence as one of the most outstanding leaders in our history as a nation.

In many ways, people will say that judging from Kenyatta to Moi and later that Mwai Kibaki is the best president Kenya ever had. Maybe I don’t know.

Kibaki became our first post-dictatorship president after Moi in 2002. Most of us in the human rights movement expected a lot from him. He didn’t deliver and in fact, he fought against constitutional reforms that got him elected in the first place.

On the BOMAS format for constitutional reforms for the country which Kenyans had campaigned for in many years, Kibaki rejected the Bomas proposal which wanted a president and a Prime Minister so that the country does not have an exclusive power of the presidency to run the country at his will.

I went to the Bomas Conference in 2003 about a new constitution promised to Kenyans by Raila, Kibaki, and Narc just before they took power in the historic 2002 Kenyan Elections.

The Bomas constitutional conference was very difficult at many levels. Koigi was there and that is one guy who made sure we could survive in Tanzania as refugees from Kenya.

Koigi was on Kibak’si side which wanted an imperial presidency and this time I asked the comrade to rethink his ideas.

Then I met Mwandawiro there. I asked him if I am allowed to speak. He told me I am not a delegate but I can say anything I want.

The Bomas meeting ended in an impasse so the big boys took it to Naivasha Lodge where they killed everything and Kibaki tried his fake Katiba in the 2005 referendum and lost.

Eventually, we ended up with the 2010 Katiba which is great but it was forced on Kibaki and his presidency by Kenyans.

I think shortcomings are easy things to judge people by and it is not fair. Bigger visions probably could count on leadership. That is where Mwai Kibaki belongs.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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