OTHAYA, Nyeri, May 7 — Former First Lady Mama Lucy Muthoni Kibaki was Saturday laid to rest in a memorable farewell ceremony at the family’s farm in Othaya, Nyeri County.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Deputy President William Ruto led other dignitaries including First lady Margaret Kenyatta and immediate former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete in eulogizing the former First Lady whom they described as a loving mother, a role model and a mentor.
They recounted their experiences with the former First Lady, recalling her passion to empower girls to protect them from social ills and abuses.
In his eulogy, President Kenyatta said Kenyans have a lot to learn and emulate the former First Lady who was forthright in all what she did.
He particularly told leaders to strive to serve the interests of all Kenyans and not their narrow selfish interests.
“We should continue loving one another and seek to entrench true unity as this will help us develop our country and improve the lives of Kenyans as leaders,” said the President.
The President challenged Kenyans to cherish strong family values as they are the foundation of a strong nation.
“For us who remain behind, we need to ask ourselves what we have learnt from the life of Mama Lucy Kibaki?” posed the President.
He assured the 3rd President and his family of his total support during the difficult time of mourning.
In his tribute, Deputy President Ruto said the former First Lady changed the perception on the office of the First Lady and set high standards worthy to emulate.
“Mama Lucy was patient and did what she believed was right and not what we expected her to do,” said the Deputy President.
The Deputy President said the former First Lady was very influential during President Kibaki’s government and curved a niche for herself in the country.
“Many Kenyans had thought the role of the First Lady is to be seen and not to be heard. She changed that, she was not only to be seen but we could not ignore her,” said the Deputy President.
Former Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, conveyed condolences of President John Magufuli and all Tanzanians saying the news of the death of Mama Lucy devastated them.
He said the former First Lady died at a time when her wise counsel and contribution was still needed in the country.
He said he knew Mama Lucy as a courageous and passionate woman and an able helper of former President Kibaki.
“She has been at the forefront supporting you in your national and international roles as President and even in retirement,” said President Kikwete.
In their Eulogies, her children led by Judy described their mother as a selfless woman who was a strong pillar of the family.
They said their mum was committed to strong family Christian values and at no time did she shy off from expressing them.
The first son Jimmy, eulogized her as a good mother who went to great length to defend the family and instill discipline in her children.
“She was very frank but very fair,” said Jimmy.
Ms Judy Kibaki eulogized her mother as an extraordinary woman with strong conviction and substance in equal measure.
“She was urbane and well exposed, (and) still owed her outlook to a traceable local habitation and name,” said Ms Kibaki.
The emotional requiem mass held at Othaya Approved School, was attended by leaders from across the political divide including cabinet secretaries, legislators, members of diplomatic corps, senior government officials, and thousands of wananchi from all walks of life.
The mass was conducted by Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Peter Kairo.
The former First Lady’s final journey began at the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi at 8:00 am. The body passed through the family’s Muthaiga home where close family members were allowed to view before proceeding to Othaya.
On arrival in Nyeri County, the body was taken through Mukurweini where the former First Lady was born and to the Approved School ground for the requiem mass.
Mama Lucy, survived by husband, 3rd President Mwai Kibaki, their four children Judith, Jimmy, Kagai and Anthony and several grandchildren was laid to rest at the family’s home in a private burial attended by close family members, the President, Deputy President and a few government officials.