Mwai Kibaki Biography
Mwai Kibaki is a Kenyan politician who served as the 3rd president of the Republic of Kenya. He was born on 15th November 1931 in his rural home, Othaya, Nyeri. As a president, he has served for two terms (2002 – 2010).
He will always be remembered as the president who put Kenya on its best economic track. This is attributed to the 7% economic growth witnessed during his tenure. He is also remembered for steering the new constitution.
Mwai Kibaki Education
He attended Gatuyainĩ School for the first two years, where he completed what was then called Sub “A” and Sub “B” (the equivalent of standard one and two or first and second grade). Kibaki later joined Karima mission school for three more classes of primary school.
He later moved to Mathari School (now Nyeri High School) between 1944 and 1946 for Standard four to six, where, in addition to his academic studies, he learned carpentry and masonry as students would repair furniture and provide material for maintaining the school’s buildings.
Also, he grew his own food as all students in the school were expected to do, and earned extra money during the school holidays by working as a conductor on buses operated by the defunct Othaya African Bus Union. After Karima Primary and Nyeri Boarding primary schools, he proceeded to Mang’u High School where he studied between 1947 and 1950. He passed with a maximum of six points in his “O” level examination bypassing six subjects with Grade 1 Distinction.
Mwai Kibaki Age
Retired President Kibaki is 91 years of age in 2023. He was born on November 15, 1931, in Thunguri village, Othaya division of Kenya’s then Nyeri District, now Nyeri County.
Mwai Kibaki Family
Mwai Kibaki was the youngest of eight children of peasant farmers, Kibaki Githinji and Teresia Wanjiku. Belonging to the Kikuyu tribe, which is the largest tribal group in Kenya, they lived in a village called Gatuyaini in Nyeri County.
Mwai Kibaki Wife
President Kibaki was married to Lucy Muthoni from 1961 until her death in 2016. In 2004, the media reported that Kibaki has a second spouse. He married his second wife under customary law. His second wife was Mary Wambui. Together, they had a daughter, Wangui Mwai.
State House in response released an unsigned statement that Kibaki’s only immediate family at the time was his then-wife, Lucy, and their four children. In 2009, Kibaki, with Lucy in close attendance, held an odd press conference to re-state publicly that he only has one wife. The matter of Kibaki’s alleged mistress and his wife’s usually dramatic public reactions thereto provided an embarrassing side-show during his presidency, with the Washington Post terming the entire scandal as a “new Kenyan soap opera”.
Ms. Wambui, the rather popular “other woman”, who enjoyed the state trappings of a Presidential spouse and became a powerful and wealthy businesswoman during the Kibaki Presidency, frequently drove Lucy into episodes of highly embarrassing very publicly displayed rage.
Ms. Wambui, despite opposition from Kibaki’s family, led publicly by Kibaki’s son, Jimmy, and despite Kibaki’s public endorsement and campaign for her opponent, succeeded Kibaki as Member of Parliament for Othaya in the 2013 General Election. In December 2014, Senator Bonny Khalwale stated on KTN’s Jeff Koinange Live that President Kibaki had introduced Wambui as his wife.
Mwai Kibaki Children
They have four children: Judy Wanjiku, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagai, and Tony Githinji. They also have several grandchildren: Joy Jamie Marie, Rachael Muthoni, Mwai Junior, and Krystina Muthoni. Jimmy Kibaki did have, so far unsuccessful designs to be his father’s political heir.
Mwai Kibaki Career
Hon. Mwai Kibaki’s political career began during his days at Makerere University when he served as Vice Chairman of the Makerere University Students Guild. As Vice Chairman of the Students Guild, he articulated the students’ opposition to colonialism and championed the cause for decolonization.
His career in party politics began in December 1960 when he took up a job as the first executive officer of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) which was then at the forefront in the struggle for the country’s independence. He made a debut in elective politics in 1963 and was elected to Parliament on a KANU ticket, soon after Kenya attained her independence. Between 1963 and 1965, he served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance. In 1965, he was appointed a minister for Commerce and Industry where he served until 1969. In the same year, he was re-elected back to Parliament.
Hon. Mwai Kibaki became minister of Finance and economic planning between 1970 and 1978. During this period, he moved his political base from Nairobi to his rural home and was re-elected in 1974 to represent the Othaya constituency on a KANU ticket.
He was re-elected Member of Parliament for the same constituency in the subsequent elections of 1979, 1983, 1988, 1992, 1997, and 2002. Hon. Mwai Kibaki was appointed Vice-President in 1978. He continued to serve in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning until 1983 when he moved to the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Heritage. He served until 1988 when he moved to the Ministry of Health.
Hon. Mwai Kibaki was also the leader of government business and Chairman of the Sessional Committee from 1978 to 1988. He was the KANU vice president from 1978 to 1988.
Mwai Kibaki ventured into opposition politics in December 1991 and went ahead to form the Democratic Party (DP). He, later on, vied for the presidency on its ticket in the 1992 elections, where he came third after the incumbent Daniel Arap Moi and Kenneth Matiba.
In 1997, he contested for the presidency again on a D.P. ticket and came second to the incumbent, Kanu’s Daniel Arap Moi. In January 1998 the Democratic Party became the official opposition party with Hon. Mwai Kibaki as the leader of the official opposition. Moreover, in the period that he served in this capacity, Hon Kibaki gave new meaning and definition to the office of the leader of official opposition with his brilliant debates in and outside parliament.
Through issue-oriented political debate Kenyans were able to see the importance of a leader of opposition being an issue-oriented leader who is able to articulate his vision and ideas through constructive debate. Indeed his tenure as leader of the opposition marked one of the most vibrant periods of debate in Kenya’s history.
During the 1997-2002 Parliamentary Session, Mwai Kibaki also served as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and Member of the House Business Committee.
During his tenure as leader of the official opposition, Mwai Kibaki had consistently preached the importance of opposition unity and rallied several opposition parties to form the National Alliance of Kenya party. It was this alliance that formed the wider National Rainbow Alliance (NARC) party that became a formidable force against the dominant KANU ruling party in the 2002 election.
Because of his public record of integrity, honesty, and excellent economic stewardship, Hon Mwai Kibaki became the natural candidate of the United NARC opposition alliance. During the elections held on 27th December 2002 Hon, Kibaki emerged as the winner in a landslide victory that saw him garner over 65% of the popular vote.
Still nursing injuries from a motor vehicle accident during the election campaigns, Hon Kibaki was sworn in seated in a wheelchair as President and commander in chief of the armed forces of the Republic of Kenya on 30th December 2002.
In his acceptance speech, President Kibaki promised to entrench modern reforms and steer the country back to the path of economic growth as his first priority.
Mwai Kibaki Political Positions
- Started 2007: Member of the Party of National Unity
- 2008 – 4th March 2013: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 2008 – 2012: President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya
- 2003 – 2007: President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya
- 2003 – 2007: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 2002 – 2007: Founding member of the National Rainbow Coalition
- 1998 – 2002: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 1991 – 2002: Chairman of the Democratic Party
- 1993 – 1997: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 1988 – 1992: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- March 1988 – Dec 1991: Cabinet Minister for Health
- 1974 – 1991: Chair of Kenya African National Union – Nyeri Branch
- 1960 – 1990: Member of Kenya African National Union
- 1983 – 1988: Vice President & Cabinet Minister for Home Affairs
- 1983 – 1988: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 1978 – 1983: Vice President & Cabinet Minister for Finance
- 1979 – 1982: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 1974 – 1979: Member of Parliament for Othaya
- 1970 – 1978: Cabinet Minister for Finance and Economic Planning
- 1965 – 1969: Cabinet Minister for Commerce and Industry
- 1963 – 1965: Cabinet Parliamentary Secretary to Finance Minister
Mwai Kibaki Networth
Mwai Kibaki is a Kenyan politician who has a net worth of $50 million dollars. He has gathered his wealth from his political career, business, and also from his profession; Economist.