FORMER President Mwai Kibaki will today become the first head of state to build a presidential library at his alma mater, or university where he once studied.

The multi-billion-shilling facility is based at Makerere University, Uganda.

According to information released by the university on Monday, the facility will cost US$50 million (Sh4.5 billion).

Of this, $40million will go to the Presidential Library and $10million to the Mwai Kibaki-endowed Chair in Economics.

“The HE Mwai Kibaki Presidential Library will be the first presidential library built by a former president at his alma mater. It will also be the first library in Africa to have an endowed chair in economics,” the deputy Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Prof Barnarbas Nawangwe, said.

Makerere Chancellor George Mondo explained that the university chose Kibaki because he was the first African to graduate there with a 1st Class Honours Degree in the Arts, in 1955.

He added that Kibaki was also the first African to graduate with distinction in the BSc Public Finance programme at the London School of Economics in 1958.

Mondo also cited Kibaki’s decision to return and serve his alma mater from 1958 to 1960 as Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Economics and Political Science, “instead of taking up other, lucrative offers”.

He said this was “commendable and worthy of recognition”.

Mondo went on: “Through the HE Mwai Kibaki Presidential Library, Makerere will tell and re-tell the story of HE Mwai Kibaki, which is the story of African excellence. This is the meaning of immortalising HE Mwai Kibaki on the Main Campus of his alma mater”.

Kibaki, who was Kenya’s third President, will attend the historic event, which will include the laying of the foundation stone.

He will be accompanied by his private secretary, Prof Nick Wachira, a former Chancellor of the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

Makerere has also invited the government of Kenya, Parliament and leading businesspersons to the occasion.

Kenya will be represented by Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, who will be accompanied by Commission of University Education chairman Henry Thairu and CUE secretary David Some.

Accepting the request last November, Kibaki termed it well deserved and a boost to the common good of East Africa’s people.

“As a Makerere alumnus, I am proud of the progress the university has made so far and the future plans it intends to implement,” he said, after being briefed on the expansion plans.

An official in Kibaki’s office told the Star about his post-presidency role, “the 2010 constitution defines the post-presidency in Kenya in a completely new way. The Presidential Retirement Act 2004, as revised in 2012, clarifies the role of the post-presidency, which is primarily advisory to the sitting government and the people of Kenya”.

The official, who will accompany Kibaki to the Makerere event, added, “as understood by the Act’s inaugural beneficiary, advisory work is not about telling others what to do – it involves doing things that add value to the programmes of the current government.”


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