Emilio Stanley Mwai Kibaki, C.G.H. (born 15 November 1931) was a Kenyan politician who was the third President of Kenya, serving from December 2002 until April 2013.
EARLY LIFE: FAMILY
Kibaki was born in 1931 in Thunguri village, Othaya division of Kenya’s then Nyeri District. He is the youngest son of Kikuyu peasants Kibaki Gĩthĩnji and Teresia Wanjikũ.
Though baptized as Emilio Stanley by Italian missionaries in his youth, he has been known as Mwai Kibaki throughout his public life.
Kibaki was influenced by veterans of the First and Second World Wars in his native village where he gradually gained interest in the military but an order put his aspirations to a halt.
Kibaki attended Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where he studied Economics, History, and Political Science, and graduated best in his class in 1955 with a First Class Honours Degree (BA) in Economics.
After his graduation, he earned a scholarship entitling him to postgraduate studies in any British University. He consequently enrolled at the prestigious London School of Economics for a BSc in public finance, graduating with a distinction.
In 1961, Kibaki married Lucy Muthoni, the daughter of a church minister, who was then a secondary school headteacher.
Kibaki and his wife had 4 children until Lucy passed away in 2016. The childrens’ names are; Jimmy Kibaki, Wangui Mwai, Tony Kibaki, Judy Kibaki, David Kibaki.
In early 1960, Mwai Kibaki left academia for active politics. In 1963, Kibaki was elected as Member of Parliament for Donholm Constituency (subsequently called Bahati and now known as Makadara) in Nairobi.
In 1963 Kibaki was appointed the Permanent Secretary for the Treasury.
Appointed Assistant Minister of Finance and chairman of the Economic Planning Commission in 1963, he was promoted to Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1966.
In 1969, he became Minister of Finance and Economic Planning where he served until 1982.
He has been re-elected Member of Parliament for Othaya in the subsequent elections of 1979, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2007.
When Daniel Arap Moi succeeded Jomo Kenyatta as President of Kenya in 1978, Kibaki was elevated to Vice Presidency and kept the Finance portfolio until Moi changed his ministerial portfolio from Finance to Home Affairs in 1982.
Kibaki fell out of favor with President Moi in March 1988 and was dropped as vice president and moved to the Ministry of Health.
In January 1998, Kibaki became the leader of the official opposition with the Democratic Party being the official opposition party in Parliament.
In preparation for the 2002 elections, Kibaki’s Democratic Party-affiliated with several other opposition parties to form National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC).
On 27 December 2002, Kibaki and NARC won a landslide victory over KANU, with Kibaki getting 62% of the votes in the presidential elections, against only 31% for the KANU candidate Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Kibaki’s style was that of low-key publicity averse but highly intelligent and competent technocrat in which Kenya as a country went through a great deal of economic growth. GDP growth picked up from a low 0.6% in 2002 to 3% in 2003, 4.9% in 2004, 5.8% in 2005, 6% in 2006 and 7% 2007, then after the post-election chaos and Global Financial Crisis—2008 (1.7%)and 2009 (2.6%), recovered to 5% in 2010 and 5% in 2011.
In January 2003, Kibaki introduced a free primary education initiative, which brought over 1 million children who would not have been able to afford school the chance to attend. The initiative received positive attention, including praise from Bill Clinton, who would travel to Kenya to meet Kibaki.
The election was held on 27 December 2007. Kibaki won and was sworn in what remains to be a contentious issue at gloom. The 2007 general elections violence is one of the major political issues that most politicians would like to forget and most of all the families that lost people and/or were affected by the clash of clans.
In General, Kenya passed through one of its best times in economic prosperity. He also oversaw the creation of Kenya’s Vision 2030, a long-term development plan aimed at raising GDP growth to 10% annually and transforming Kenya into a middle-income country by 2030, which he unveiled on 30 October 2006 as part of his legacy.
The Kibaki regime also saw a reduction of Kenya’s dependence on western donor aid, with the country being increasingly funded by internally generated resources such as increased tax revenue collection.
On 9 April 2013 at a public inauguration ceremony held at Kenya’s largest stadium, he handed power to Uhuru Kenyatta to mark the end of his presidency and of his 50 years of public service.
Kibaki is estimated at around $50 million.