A report clouding the internet on Tuesday states that Kenya’s controversial former first lady, Lucy Kibaki, has died on April 26, 2016 in a London hospital of an undisclosed illness.
In a tribute to Mrs Kibaki, President Uhuru Kenyatta praised her for her role in fighting HIV/Aids in Kenya.
The wife of former President Mwai Kibaki gained notoriety for slapping a cameraman in 2005 when she stormed the offices of a private media group in anger at the way a story about her had been reported.
Husband of the late was the third President of Kenya, serving from December 2002 until April 2013when Mr Kenyatta took over the mantle from him. He was previously Vice-President of Kenya for ten years from 1978 to 1988 under President Daniel arap Moi.
Mr Kibaki also held cabinet ministerial positions in the Kenyatta and Moi governments, including time as minister for Finance (1969–1981) under Kenyatta, and Minister for Home Affairs (1982–1988) and Minister for Health (1988–1991) under Moi.
Mrs Kibaki, 76, had withdrawn from public life during the latter part of her husband’s rule.
She was last seen at a public function in August 2010, when she seemed excited about the adoption of a new constitution, dancing to a famous gospel song, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reports.
Mr Kenyatta said she had been unwell for the last month, receiving treatment in both Kenya and the UK.
Mrs Kibaki trained as a teacher, leaving her job not long after her marriage in 1962 to raise her four children.
“Her Excellency will be remembered for her immense contribution in the development of country,” Mr Kenyatta said in a statement.
According to The Daily Nation, she organised the First International Aids Run in 2003.
But correspondents say she also provoked condemnation when she said unmarried young people had “no business” using condoms, calling on students to abstain from sex in order to avoid infection with HIV.
Mrs Kibaki was the most controversial of Kenya’s first ladies, crossing swords with politicians, diplomats, journalists and policemen she believed had not treated her with sufficient respect.
Just months after her husband became president, she is reported to have shut down a bar inside State House that was a watering hole for ministers and close allies of Mr Kibaki.
In 2005, she stormed into the house of her neighbour, the World Bank’s then-country director Makhtar Diop, in a tracksuit at midnight and demanded he turn his music down at a private party to mark the end of his posting in Kenya.
She also went to the local police station in shorts to demand that Mr Diop and his guests be arrested for disturbing the peace.
Later, she burst into the offices of the influential Nation Media Group with her bodyguards and demanded that the reporter who had written about her confrontation with Mr Diop be arrested.
She slapped cameraman Clifford Derrick who was filming her and refused to leave the offices until 0530 the next day. He tried to sue for assault, but the case was thrown out of court.
In 2007, Mrs Kibaki was filmed by Nation TV slapping an official during an Independence Day celebration at State House.
Security officials seized the video images and erased the slapping incident, before returning them.