Former President Mwai Kibaki has eulogised former Finance Minister David Mwiraria, who succumbed to cancer on Thursday, April 13, as a “friend, confidant and co-worker whose diligence, humility and forthrightness were rare and epic”.
Mr Mwiraria died aged 78 while undergoing treatment for bone marrow cancer at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi, his family confirmed.
“I received the news on the passing on of David Mwiraria with a sense of profound loss. I stand with the late Mwiraria’s family and friends at this moment of loss and pray that the Almighty God—whose mercies are boundless—will comfort them and afford them the solace only He can extend during such a time,” said Mwai Kibaki, in a statement to newsroom.
“The late Mwiraria was a friend, confidant and co-worker. He was a trusted ally. His diligence, humility and forthrightness were rare, even epic. And so was his ability to rally persons of diverse persuasions to a common cause. The late commanded respect across the board effortlessly. His leadership toolkit was greatly endowed as was his brilliance, and particularly so, his grasp of Economics.
“Kenya has lost an illustrious public servant whose focus was on delivering the best for the good of all. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
Mr Mwararia served as Finance Minister between January, 2003 and February 1, 2006 in former President Mwai Kibaki’s cabinet.
Following allegations that he had been involved in the Anglo Leasing scandal, he resigned as Finance Minister on February 1, 2006. He was later, July 2007, re-appointed to the Cabinet as the Minister for Environment.
For five years, he had held the shadow finance portfolio.
Mr Mwiria in December, 2015 took plea over the multibillion-shilling Anglo-Leasing scandal from his hospital bed.
He had pleaded not guilty to seven criminal charges in the Anglo-Leasing scandal when the trial magistrate’s court moved its sittings from Milimani Law Courts to his ward at Karen Hospital in Nairobi.
Mr Mwiraria was the first prominent public figure to take plea outside the precincts of court.
The High Court had directed on December 7, 2015 that Mr Mwiraria should take plea by December 14, 2015.
The former Finance Minister was accused of conspiracy to commit an economic crime to defraud the Government of Kenya of Ksh 6.3 billion through a supplier’s financing agreement for the computerisation of security, law and order systems and procedures for a Kenya Police project code-named ‘E-Cops’.
Other charges against him included engaging in a project without prior planning, disobedience of statutory duty and abuse of office.