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16 Apr 2018

Embarrassing nickname that Matiba gave to Mwai Kibaki



Former Cabinet Minister Kenneth Matiba has had a frosty relationship with former President Mwai Kibaki for the past three decades.

Matiba and Kibaki initially been close friends, having both attended Makerere University.
In 1964, Matiba was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce where Kibaki was the Minister.
During the controversial Mlolongo elections held in 1988, Matiba was rigged out and decided to resign from the Cabinet.
playPresident Uhuru Kenyatta (right) during a past visit to Kenneth Matiba (seated) and his wife Edith (left). The veteran politician passed on yesterday at the age of 85 (Nation)

Kibaki, who was then the Vice President, had narrowly escaped being rigged out in Othaya but was shortly after demoted and made Health Minister.
Matiba had consulted Kibaki who had agreed to also resign and join the fight for multiparty politics.
Lawyer and politician Paul Muite recalls that he was the one who drafted the resignation statements for both Kibaki and Kibaki.
"I remember drafting a statement of how Kibaki was going to resign because he had been appointed Minister for Health after being dropped as Vice-President. At that time, resigning was an act close to treason. You waited to be sacked and, after being sacked, you thanked the President for it," Muite stated in a past interview.
Unfortunately, Kibaki developed cold feet and told his friend Matiba that he had gotten "second thoughts".
playPresident Uhuru Kenyatta (right) during a past visit to Kenneth Matiba (left). The veteran politician passed on yesterday at the age of 85 (PSCU)

In 1990, Kibaki publicly dismissed the multiparty advocates as engaging in a futile exercise tantamount to "cutting down a mugumo tree with a razor blade".
A year later, the country's constitution was amended to allow multi-party politics and Kibaki conveniently resigned to form the Democratic Party (DP).
For this, Matiba never forgave his old friend and started referring to Kibaki as General Kiguoya(The Coward in Chief).
At the time of publishing this article the country's third President is yet to send his condolence message to the Matiba family.
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