Raila explains why Kibaki used famous phrases 'bure kabisa' and 'mavi ya kuku'

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has explained two of the most famous Swahili phrases used by Kenya's 3rd president, Mwai Kibaki, adding context to why the former President used them.

Azimio presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga gives his tribute to former President Mwai Kibaki during State Funeral Service held at the Nyayo Stadium on April 29, 2022

Raila revealed that President Kibaki would often use the two phrases - bure kabisa (useless) and mavi ya kuku (chicken droppings) - during his time as an opposition MP in Parliament, long before he used them as president.

Attesting to the late president's exceptional gifts and understanding of economics, Raila recalled hearing Kibaki use the near-cusswords as he deliberated subpar government budget readings.

According to the former PM, Kibaki used 'bure kabisa' to refer to incompetent government officials and considered poorly developed government budgets as chicken poop.

"Mwai Kibaki was a gentleman and a man of conviction. He loved perfection. We worked together in the Opposition and he was our leader. [Oh] how he used to lead! He'd discuss the budget and come up with a more eloquent position than that of the Minister of Finance!

"He told them how it should be done and he'd even tell you, 'These people don't know what they are doing, bure kabisa!' and when they presented a lot of nonsense he'd say, 'Hii ni mavi ya kuku'. But he was a gentleman par excellence," Raila narrated.

While speaking on how Kibaki left a career in academics to launch his illustrious career as a politician, Raila recounted the facts - as retold by his father and former vice president Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and the late Kibaki himself.

"The story was told to us by Jaramogi and Mwai, that after KANU was formed at Kirigiti Stadium in 1960, a draft Constitution had been presented there prepared by Ojino Okeyo who was Jaramogi's secretary and he died on his way back to Kisumu in a road accident.

"Later, when Jaramogi visited the Makerere University in Kampala as a guest of President Milton Obote, he found a beautifully written manifesto he was campaigning with. When Jaramogi asked, Obote told him, '...there are some young men at Makerere who are very good and their leader is actually a Kenyan...' Jaramogi wanted to see him and he found that it was Kibaki. And that's when Jaramogi invited him to KANU," Raila narrated.

Raila was speaking at the State Funeral Service held for the former President at the Nyayo Stadium on April 29, 2022.

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