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Why Museveni, Kagame, skipped Kibaki’s State funeral

The government has revealed why Uganda President Yoweri Museveni and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame skipped Mwai Kibaki’s State funeral service at the Nyayo stadium.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru explained on his official Twitter page that the two leaders could not visit Kenya for the third time in two weeks as that would be a breach of protocol.

“They (Kagame, Museveni and Suluhu) were here in Kenya twice in the last few weeks. There is a protocol on how many times heads of state can visit the same country. Don’t judge. Let’s give our late President an honourable sendoff. Thank you,” he said.

He was responding to a concerned tweet on why the two East African leaders were not available.

Museveni and Kagame were in Nairobi last week to witness President Kenyatta Uhuru sign the charter to accept the Democratic Republic of Congo to the East African Community.

Among the leaders present at the State funeral were South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, his South Sudan counterpart Salva Kiir  and Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde.

Others were Rwanda Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente, Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga of Zimbabwe, Tanzania’s Philip Mpango, and Uganda’s Jessica Alupo, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland and Sri Lanka’s Special Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake also graced the event.

Upon learning the demise of President Kibaki, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, eulogized Kibaki as a transformational leader and a true Pan-Africanist.

“While at the helm of Kenya’s leadership, he played a fundamental role in achieving socio-economic transformation and prosperity for the Kenyan people. He was active in deepening the roots of African unity and cooperation for peace, development and security,” President Museveni said.

On the other hand, Rwandan President Paul Kagame said: “His (Kibaki’s) dedication to the economic transformation of Kenya and his work towards regional integration will be remembered for many generations. The people of Rwanda stand with Kenya during this time.”

President Samia Suluhu declared two days of national mourning following the death of retired President Kibaki.

“During this two-day national mourning, our national flag will fly at half-mast across the entire territory of the country and all Tanzanian diplomatic missions abroad,” she said.

Kibaki will be laid to rest at his Othaya home on Saturday.