Jimmy Kibaki and his siblings learnt of their father’s death Friday morning, April 22, minutes after the late President Mwai Kibaki passed away.
Immediately after his demise, doctors who were attending to the former President notified the family members who summoned each other.
Jimmy was reported to have been holed up in a meeting around Nairobi CBD when he learned of his father’s death.
Kibaki’s son was also informed that President Uhuru Kenyatta had been briefed and was preparing to address the nation at State House.
Jimmy dashed out of the meeting without leaving a message nor informing those in attendance where he was heading to. Reports further indicate that he was rushed to a hospital in Nairobi where his father was admitted.
His siblings were also allowed to view their father’s body prior to Uhuru’s address.
At that time, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Chief of Defence Forces, Robert Kibochi, had already discussed plans and arrangements for Kibaki’s State Funeral.
The head of state was also waiting for his handlers to prepare a detailed speech on his predecessor’s death.
“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.
“His contributions in the Ministry of Finance and as Vice President saw Kenya’s economy grow steadily, fueled by a commodities boom, and fiscal and monetary policies that were the backbone of his economic philosophy,” Uhuru announced.
In a past interview with Nation Africa, Jimmy indicated that his father’s 10 years tenure would have been different if he had not suffered the 2002 accident, which had lifelong repercussions on his health.
“I remember seeing him that evening at the Nairobi Hospital. It was the hardest thing for us as a family. Mzee, a man who was over 70 at the time, had suffered extensive injuries. It was a very stressful time. He was flown to the UK where he stayed for about two weeks. When he came back he was still in pain. He was sworn in as President of Kenya on a wheelchair,” Jimmy explained.
” I believe that had my father not been involved in that accident, the character of his presidency would have been very different. There would have been more unity in the country during his presidency, and he would have wanted to achieve even greater things than he did. He was a unique unifying factor, and in terms of seniority he was head and shoulders above the rest.”
Jimmy also explained that his father’s presidency affected his social life as he was forced to switch lines every four months.
Apart from that, he could not hang out with friends as he used to be since his family circle was tightly guarded by highly trained police officers.
“I had to change my telephone numbers every four or five months during my father’s time as President. I was highly sought after, even internationally. I’d wonder how people got my number, but having said that, my parents, especially my mother, set a clear divide on what is government and what is family. Even before my father became president, we never mixed the two,” Jimmy stated.
Jimmy joined active politics choosing to work with Azimio la Umoja affiliated with Raila Amollo Odinga and President Uhuru.