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Former First Lady Lucy Kibaki dies in London hospital

Tuesday April 26 2016

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Former First Lady Lucy Kibaki passed away Tuesday morning in the United Kingdom.

A statement by President Uhuru Kenyatta stated that Mrs Kibaki died while being treated at Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London.

“Her excellency has been unwell for the last one month and has been receiving treatment here in Kenya and subsequently in the United Kingdom,” the statement signed by the President stated.

Mrs Kibaki was admitted to Nairobi Hospital last month and after seeking treatment at Gertrude’s Hospital in Muthaiga.

A family source had confirmed to the Nation that she was flown out of the country for specialised treatment as “it was necessary”.

She leaves behind four children namely Judy Wanjiku, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagai and Tony Githinji.

She was born in the 1940s in Mukurwe-ini to colonial era Presbyterian Church of East Africa pastor Rev John Kagai and Rose Nyachomba.

She was a teacher at Kamwenja Teachers College before she was transferred to Kambui College.

She quit her teaching job at Kambui College—now Kiambu Girls— after independence in 1963 to raise her family as her husband concentrated on politics.

In his message of condolence, President Kenyatta said Mrs Kibaki will be remembered for her immense contribution in the development of the country.

"Notable was Her Excellency’s virtues of leadership and commitment to improving wellbeing of Kenyans, in particular her focus on tackling HIV/Aids, which will remain an inspiration to many,” he said.

In September 2003, the former First Lady organised the First International Aids Run and was behind setting up of the Kenyan chapter of African First Ladies Against HIV/Aids (OAFLA) lobby group.

Deputy President William Ruto posted his message of condolence on Twitter saying he learnt of the death with deep sorrow and is praying for Mr Kibaki and family.

Cord leader and former Prime Minister in the grand coalition government Raila Odinga condoled with Mr Kibaki's family remembering the former First Lady for her honesty, frankness and principled stand on matters of national and public interest.

"I have only fond memories of Mama Lucy. As First Lady, Mama Lucy made our working relationship in your first administration and during the grand coalition government easy and manageable," said Mr Odinga's message seen by the Nation.

Mr Raila said Mama Lucy gave the position of First Lady a new and emphatic role, adding that she much misunderstood due to her principled stance on issues.

Diplomats also sent their condolences. Mr Mahboub Maalim, the executive secretary of regional bloc, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), called her death as a “sad occasion.”

"The people of Kenya and the rest of the IGAD region will surely miss her, especially the remarkable work she did in the promotion of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment,” he said Monday evening.

Mr Maalim was nominated to lead the bloc by President Mwai Kibaki. The Kenyan diplomat recalled his working relationship in the Kibaki government before he took up the IGAD role.

“I worked for him in different capacities and came to know her as a hardworking, passionate person.”

Other leaders who posted messages on Twitter include Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.