The body of former First Lady Lucy Kibaki which left London to Kenya days back has arrived ahead of plans for her burial. It landed into the country at early hours of Sunday for a State burial on Saturday in Othaya, Nyeri county.
The requiem mass for Mama Lucy Kibaki state burial will take place at Consolata Shrine in Westlands, Nairobi on Wednesday. Dignitaries, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto, and other relatives and friends, arrived at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to welcome the body.
Mama Lucy’s husband, former President Mwai Kibaki, her son Anthony and daughter Judy, accompanied her body from London where she had received treatment before the illness that ended her life. Mama’s other children, Jimmy and David Kibaki, who were not able to visit Mama in London also went to the airport to welcome the family.
The State House choir who were handy hymned consoling songs to the family. The coffin was wrapped in Kenya’s flag and was escorted by Military pallbearers including Kenya Army, Navy and Air Force personnel in their sparkling red, white and blue uniforms.
The military marched stoically along a red carpet, then laid out the body at the presidential pavilion. Uhuru declared three days public holidays for the nation to mourn the remarkable ex-first lady. He added that flags will fly at half-mast in honor of Mama Lucy Kibaki starting on Sunday.
Father Dominic Wamugunda held a prayer service, before the casket was put in a black hearse and taken to Lee Funeral Home, pending plans for the state burial.
Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe released a statement on Friday, noting that the public would be granted the chance to sign condolence books which will be placed at different locations in Nairobi and county headquarters countrywide.
The books, he said, will allow people express their sympathy ahead of the state burial of Mama Lucy Kibaki. Nairobi locals have their books placed at Holy Family Basilica and Consolata Shrine in Westlands. Uhuru and Ruto led a handful of leaders and the public in mourning Lucy. Uhuru said Lucy will be remembered for her roles in the development of the country.
State said it will take responsibility of Mama Lucy’s burial after she passed on at Bupa Cromwell Hospital on Tuesday. The former first lady had been sick for nearly one month, and died at age 82.