- My wife Salma and I would like to inform you that we share your grief and join you in mourning the death of one of Kenya’s great sons and leader.
Your Excellency and dear Brother,
I received with shock, sadness and sorrow, news of the untimely passing of His Excellency Emilio Mwai Kibaki, former President of the Republic of Kenya. I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and through you to the bereaved family and the great people of Kenya.
My wife Salma and I would like to inform you that we share your grief and join you in mourning the death of one of Kenya’s great sons and leader. Your loss is our loss and your pain is ours too for we were close to President Kibaki and his dear wife Lucy. That is why I attended the burial of the late Lucy Kibaki at Othaya.
During his leadership, President Mwai Kibaki distinguished himself as being our leader as much as he was Kenya’s. I have first-hand knowledge and experience of how much he cared about promoting good relations between Kenya and Tanzania.
He left a strong legacy which has translated into the excellent relations which so happily exist between our two friendly countries.
President Mwai Kibaki worked tirelessly to advance the East African integration agenda. The East African Community and the East African cooperation and integration process is what it is today, thanks in many ways to his immense contribution. He was, also, a great Pan-Africanist who whole-heartedly championed African unity and integration.
I am not Kenyan, but I can dare say that the people of Kenya were lucky to have had Mwai Kibaki as President at the time he served. He was a wise and responsible leader who did not hesitate to do what he believed served the best interests of his country and the people of Kenya.
One example I can give as testimony to this is with regard to his exemplary leadership during his talks with ODM leader, my brother, Raila Odinga, aimed at resolving the crisis following the 2007 Kenyan elections.
I joined the talks at the invitation of President Mwai Kibaki when there was an impasse. As you may recall the talks were being led by Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations.
President Mwai Kibaki demonstrated the highest level of leadership skills and responsibility. It needed a strong, courageous, and visionary leader like him to take the bold decision which gave Kenya the Agreement which ended the crisis and guaranteed peace to the people of this great nation .
I vividly remember the decisive words he said which took Kenya from the brink. He said: “So be it.”
My dear brother President Uhuru Kenyatta, I am sorry I would not be able to join you and the people of Kenya at the funeral of this great leader of our time, but I will be with you in spirit, praying for a smooth event.
I promise to come and see you and the bereaved family at the earliest possible opportunity.
May His Soul Rest in Eternal Peace. Ameen.
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, retired President of the United Republic of Tanzania