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Mwai Kibaki: Why Ex-president Will Receive a 19-Gun Salute and Not 21

Departed former President Mwai Kibaki will be laid to rest today, Saturday, April 30 in his Othaya home in Nyeri County. 

The former Head of State will receive a 19-gun salute as his body is lowered to the grave. 

What is the difference between a 19-gun salute and 21-gun salute?

One would wonder, why is Kibaki getting a 19-gun salute and not the 21-gun salute? 

Notably, the late former President Daniel Arap Moi was also honoured by a 19-gun salute unlike departed former President and founding father Jomo Kenyatta who received a 21-gun salute. 

To break it down, Mzee Kenyatta received a 21-gun salute because he died while still in office as the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). 

This is unlike former presidents Moi and Kibaki who died years after end of their respective tenures. 

Moi and Kibaki could receive a 21-gun salute but only if President Uhuru Kenyatta orders that they were interred In military uniforms. 

What is a state funeral? 

The former leaders named above were all buried in a state funeral.

A state funeral is a public funeral ceremony, observing the strict rules of protocol, held to honour people of national significance. 

State funerals usually include much pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements that follow in the rigid military tradition. 

Generally, state funerals are held in order to involve the general public in a national day of mourning after the family of the deceased gives consent. 

Kenyan leaders who were buried in a state funeral 

Other leaders who have been accorded state funerals are former Vice President Kijana Wamalwa, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, and former First Lady Lucy Kibaki.

READ ALSO: Mwai Kibaki: Women Drool Over Handsome Grandsons During State Funeral

Who qualifies for a state funeral? 

To be accorded a state funeral, one has to be a retired Head of State or Chief of Defense Forces. 

However, in cases of case of Maathai, Wamalwa, and Mama Lucy, however, has to have the State send-off authorized by the Defence Council.

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