NAIROBI, KENYA: After gracefully retiring, former President Kibaki has kept a relatively busy schedule unlike his wife Lucy – the former first lady – when in her true abrasive element. The last public official function Lucy attended was on August 27, 2010 during the promulgation of the Constitution at Uhuru Park.
The event was attended by both local and foreign dignitaries who graced the historic occasion, which provided the Kibaki family the rare opportunity of leading the nation in ushering in a new set of laws. Since then, nothing much has been heard about Lucy, known for being outspoken on family and national issues.
Her close family, relatives and friends have maintained silence leaving public guessing. Yet the least-guarded secret in town, and a source of wild grapevine, that she could be in poor health — a situation nobody dares publicly talk about or admit. If really in good health, it could be uncharacteristic for Mrs Kibaki to maintain such a low profile, and for a long time.
‘Lucy is unwell’ She could not have given a wide berth the swearing in ceremony of third President Uhuru Kenyatta at the Kasarani Stadium last April 9. It was also anticipated that Lucy could be available to hand over the reins of office to her successor, Margaret Kenyatta.
So where is Lucy Kibaki? The Nairobian attempted to answer this question by making inquiries from some of the few people privileged to be close to her. One of the sources insinuated that Lucy is unwell, but did not disclose the nature of her ailment. Before President Kibaki relinquished power, Lucy is believed to been undergoing treatment at the Karen Hospital.
But CEO of the facility Dr Betty Gikonyo, denied that Lucy had been receiving treatment at the hospital. “That is media propaganda. She has never been treated here and the records are there. She has never been here, even as an out-patient and that is the position. We have treated so many people but not her,” Gikonyo said. After leaving State House, the Kibakis relocated from the city, settling in one of their homes in Mweiga in Central region until recently when the former First Family moved into a Sh200 million maisonette on Sasini Ranch, near Nyeri town. “She is unwell. She has been in that state for quite some time,” said a source, which added that in the run-up to the 2013 general election, the wife of one of the presidential candidates was at hand to assist Lucy — taking her to hospital and returning her to State House. Prof Nick Wanjohi, Kibaki’s private secretary, did not respond to our calls and text messages by the time of going to the press. Caring ‘mother’ Lucy was born in Mukurwe-ini to the Rev John Kagai and Rose Nyachomba. She was educated at Alliance Girls’ High School before training as a teacher rising up to a principal. She met her husband to be in 1960 before the two tied the knot in 1962. The couple has four children — Judy Wanjiku, Jimmy Kibaki, David Kagai, and Tony Githinji.
Some of the police officers who worked for her at State House described her as a caring “mother” contrary to public perception that Kibaki’s wife was a no-nonsense and uncompromising person