Catholic Bishops in Kenya Say Country’s Third President Set Good Example for Leaders

Members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB). Credit: KCCB

Members of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) have paid tribute to the country’s former president, Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki, saying that the President who died on April 21 set a good example that should be emulated by others in public office.

In a message shared with ACI Africa Monday, April 25, KCCB members say that the Church in the East African country was deeply touched by the passing on of the leader they describe as having been humble, cheerful, and dedicated to the country.

“We, the Catholic Bishops in Kenya, convey our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the President, family and the people of the Republic of Kenya following the passing on of Former President Hon. Emilio Mwai Kibaki on Friday 21st April 2022,” Catholic Bishops in Kenya say in their message signed by the KCCB Chairman, Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde

They added, “We shall forever remember him for his humility, heroic virtues, cheerful character, strong personality and selfless dedication to his country and the people of Kenya.”

“As a Church we are deeply touched by the departure of one of Kenya's long serving political leaders whose public career touched many lives and left an indelible mark in the hearts of all the people he encountered,” the KCCB members say.


President Kibaki was “a gift from God which enabled all those whom he encountered to fruitfully give their all, in service to their country”, the Bishops say.

The late former President, the KCCB members add, “leaves behind a rich legacy for our Nation and his example should be emulated by anyone seeking public office.”

The former President who died aged 90 left office in 2013 after serving the country as President for two five-year terms.

Kibaki, whose death was announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, is credited with reviving Kenya's then ailing economy. However, his tenure was marred by deadly violence that killed more than 1,200 Kenyans following his disputed re-election in December 2007.

In a statement that was sent to newsrooms, President Kenyatta described his predecessor as a leader who “lived a dedicated life of public service.”

More in Africa

“We salute a notable father figure in the chronicles of our Nation. A leader who strove so hard and accomplished so much for his country. A Nation he so deeply cherished and served with commitment and an unbending will to improve the lives of our people,” President Kenyatta said of his immediate predecessor.

He added, “As a leading figure in Kenya's post-independence history, Mwai Kibaki earned the abiding respect and affection of the people of this Nation and other nations throughout the world. President Kibaki will be forever remembered as the gentleman of Kenyan Politics, a brilliant debater; whose eloquence, wit, and charm won the day, time and time again.”

President Kenyatta acknowledged Kibaki’s contributions in the Ministry of Finance and as Vice President that “saw Kenya's economy grow steadily, fueled by a commodities boom, and fiscal and monetary policies that were the backbone of his economic philosophy.”

The President of Kenya said that the former president leaves behind a more united and prosperous Kenya, and “a template for servant-leadership”, which he said must be nurtured and improved for generations to come.

In his address during the beatification of Sr. Irene Stefani Nyaatha in 2015, President Kibaki, a Catholic, described the Consolata Missionary as an example of servant leadership.


“The story of Sr. Nyaatha makes us realize that human deeds that transform the world may be rare but can and should be proposed and privatized. It is clear that Sr. Irene considered service to mankind even where circumstances were inhospitable to be a way of living a Godly call. That is why she is amazing,” Kibaki said.

The beatification event in Kenya’s Archdiocese Nyeri was the first event of its kind to be held in Eastern Africa.

At the event, President Kibaki underscored the need for selfless service to mankind which he said was the key to “unlocking the prospects of a better world.”

“Let this story (of Sr. Nyaatha) reactivate our resolve to give our best, individually and collectively, in order to have a more peaceful, healthier, caring and happier world to live in,” he said.

In their statement shared with ACI Africa on April 25, Catholic Bishops in Kenya express their solidarity with the former President’s family.

(Story continues below)

“In this sad moment, our sympathy, thoughts and prayers go to the family of the late President Mwai Kibaki. We pray that God will comfort their hearts and bring peace to their spirits during this difficult moment. We join them in prayer for the repose of the soul of the late President,” the Bishops said

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.