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Kibaki loses close friend, a month after wife’s death

Former President Mwai Kibaki’s longtime friend Emmanuel Karanja Mwangi was buried on  Friday at Chinga village in Othaya Nyeri County in a ceremony attended by hundreds of people and political leaders.

Mr Mwangi was Mr Kibaki’s trusted friend for a long time whom he had entrusted to run the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Othaya office for 10 years during his tenure as the president.

Because Mr Kibaki was still MP for Othaya between 2002 and 2013, he had bestowed most of his responsibilities to Mr Mwangi in running the constituency.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Othaya county commissioner Mr Steven Kamande, Mr Kibaki eulogized Mr Mwangi as a remarkable patriarch and a hero.

Mr Kibaki described Mr Mwangi as a man who truly belonged to a rare breed of men who possess the unique talent of mixing politics, business and leadership in social endeavors without losing an edge on any of them.

He said Mr Mwangi was the ultimate portrait of a self-made man who pulled himself by the bootstraps to become one of the most visible, accomplished and successful sons of Othaya, Nyeri and indeed Kenya.

FIRST PUBLIC SPEECH

“His tenure and contribution as a political leader was marked by wisdom and unprecedented ability to reconcile and consolidate of the entire leadership of Othaya,” the former president said.

Mr Kibaki said as a champion of social development, the late Mr Mwangi stood out in his remarkable management of Othaya’s Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

“Of my many friends and acquaintances in Othaya and Nyeri as a whole, few have etched a legacy as huge and evident as the late Mr Mwangi. That is why the death of Emmanuel Karanja Mwangi brings to my mind not just fond memories, sorrow and nostalgia but also profound reflections of a life fully lived,” added Mr Kibaki.

This was the first public speech by Mr Kibaki since the burial of his late wife the Mama Lucy Kibaki.

Mama Lucy died on April 26 from an undisclosed illness at a London hospital and was buried at the former First Family’s home in Othaya on May 7.

Mr Kamande said Mr Kibaki was not able to attend the burial due to unavoidable circumstances.

MAJOR PROJECTS

Other political leaders present at the burial mass at St Joseph’s Catholic Church Gichichi in Othaya were Starehe MP Maina Kamanda and Othaya MP Mary Wambui.

They both remembered Mr Mwangi for being a close confidant of the former president and for the work he did when he was Othaya CDF chair.

“The projects started by Mr Kibaki under the CDF chaired by Mr Mwangi are not white elephants, we have completed some, while others are in their completion stage,” said Ms Wambui.

Among other projects which Mr Mwangi will be remembered of is chairing the campaign on HIV/Aids awareness. He also chaired several political parties including KANU, NARC and PNU in Othaya and Nyeri.

Mr Mwangi died while undergoing treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi on May 19.