, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 1 – The body of the former First Lady Lucy Kibaki has arrived in the country from London.
The Kenya Airways plane carrying her remains landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) at 5.03 am.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret led top government officials in receiving the body at the airport.
Others at the airport included Deputy President William Ruto. Several Cabinet Secretaries and a host of MPs.
It was a somber mood at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where flags were at half mast.
Background music was played by the Mama Lucy choir which the former First Lady passionately loved in her public life while at State House.
The coffin carrying her remains was draped in the Kenyan flag and was removed from the plane by the military pallbearers in line with protocol since she will be accorded a state burial.
Kibaki’s trusted allies and associates during his regime like former Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and former State House Comptroller Nick Wanjohi were also present.
Draped in the Kenyan flag, the casket was placed in front of the small tent set up at the airside where
Rev. Fr. Dominic Wamugunda conducted a religious ritual in line with the Catholic doctrine.
After the short prayer service, the body was taken to the Lee Funeral Home accompanied by Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.
The government has already announced three days of mourning during which flags will fly at half mast.
Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe had announced that burial plans for the former First Lady will be announced in due course—including the actual burial date and other subsequent arrangements.
Condolence books will be opened early this week at the Holy Family Basilica, Consolata Shrine, Parliament, Kenyatta International Convention Centre and county government offices countrywide.
Lucy, 82 died on Tuesday at the Bupa Cromwell Hospital in London where she had been flown for treatment.
[OLIVE BURROWS and SIMON NDONGA contributed to this article]