WASHINGTON DC —
Former Kenyan president Mwai Kibaki has told aging African leaders to hand power over to the younger generation.
Kibaki made the remarks Tueday during the inauguration of Kenya's new president, Uhuru Kenyatta.
President Robert Mugabe, 89 years of age, was one of 11 heads of state at the ceremony. Zanu-PF celebrated Kenyatta’s win largely because Kenyatta beat Raila Odinga, considered an ally of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Other leaders at the inauguration included Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, himself in power for more than 26 years.
Kibaki said he was happy to be passing on the torch to the younger generation. “I am happy to pass the torch of leadership to the new generation of leaders,” Kibaki said.
To some, Kibaki’s remarks were a slap to the face of President Mugabe.
Political commentator George Mkhwananzi told VOA Studio 7 Kibaki’s remarks were intended for domestic support and probably not meant to ruffle Mr. Mugabe’s feathers.
Kibaki himself is 81 years old and Mr. Kenyatta is 51.