Kibaki's Beer Buddies Narrate His Drinking Getaways

  • Former President Mwai Kibaki is very reserved and not one to court attention. As such, not much is known about his social life.

    Until, 2002 when a road accident almost took his life, Kibaki, like many Kenyans would occasionally unwind with a bottle of his favourite beer in his hand. 

    The Standard tracked down old friends of the former Head of State who recalled fond memories of drinking with him. 

    Whereas they all gave different accounts of how their getaways went down, some things commonly feature in the narrations. 

    The first is that he loved White Cap and despite how many bottles he would down, he had an impressive ability to seat long hours before visiting the toilet.

    Kibaki also didn't patronise noisy joints that were likely to cramp his private and quiet nature. By keeping a close circle, he was also able to steer off controversies. 

    It is said that if you ever wanted to beat the old man in a political argument, you would have had to introduce the topic during a drinking session if you were even lucky enough to get a response from him.

    Kibaki did not like discussing serious political matters while enjoying the contents of the bottle and if someone became too insistent he would respond, "It is what it is". 

    Matu Wamae, former Mathira MP who would host the former president in his Ngong Hill hotel, told reporters that “It was fun spending the evening with Kibaki. He was an easy-going man who had a way of warding off arguments during drinking.” 

    Esau Kioni who served as Kibaki's security advisor recalled that “Mzee liked relaxing with old friends. He disliked gossip or discussing other people during social drinking. When bored he would introduce a new topic. He signified his boredom by closing and opening his legs."

    Former Nyandarua Deputy Governor Waithaka Mwangi joked that Kibaki would at times 'forget' to order drinks for his friends in a bid to pinch his pennies. 

    “He only ordered for his drinks forgetting the persons sitting next to him. He attested to the fact that he would not overspend on his outings. We always liked his idea of spending what one can afford,” Mwangi narrated. 

    A former Othaya councillor who was also one of Kibaki’s drinking partners on being asked who footed bills during their social outings exclaimed,” You do not know Kibaki!”

    The former president once shocked his friends and patrons at Muthaiga Golf Club when he footed their Ksh25,000 bill for drinks and snacks.