Leaders pay tribute to Kenya's ex-president Daniel Moi

Wednesday February 12 2020
Moi tena

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe during the State Memorial Service of the late former President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, February 11, 2020. PHOTO | PSCU

By Phyllis Musasia

Leaders across the political spectrum have paid tribute to Kenya's former president Daniel Moi who was buried Wednesday at Kabarak, Nakuru County, in the Rift Valley.

They told the story of his humble beginnings, to becoming the second president of the country — all the while throwing in a few humorous anecdotes along the way.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said Moi was a father figure to him.

"I lost my dad when I was small and Moi dedicatedly supported me and my family," Mr Kenyatta said.

He added: "I remember he was harsh but always wished me well. He was a mentor and a teacher at the same time," the President said.

ODM leader Raila Odinga said Moi worked his way out of Sacho, his home town, joined the nationalist movement and became a major player on the continent’s stage.


"Nobody can talk about dynasty, Moi did not inherit any leadership," Mr Odinga said.

Mr Odinga further said: "The late Jaramogi, just like the late Jomo Kenyatta, came from poverty. Nobody can talk about dynasty, they struggled.

"Don’t think that Uhuru, Gideon and I are entitled to certain privileges because our fathers were something," he said.

Mr Odinga termed the final journey of Mzee Moi as a celebration of a life well lived.

Deputy President William Ruto said the former leader was formidable and solid in strengthening Kanu, which he used to bring everybody and all communities together.

"Ethnicity never had a place in the Rift Valley and that is the same thing we are working on.

"Rift Valley will remain a place of peace and a region that will be used to bring people together," the deputy president said.

Former Speaker of the National Assembly Francis ole Kaparo, who served during Moi’s era, said Moi never despised anyone.

“Regardless of your tribe, he listened to everybody and was always fair in making decisions,” Mr Kaparo said.

Cotu boss Francis Atwoli said Moi was an exceptional leader. He said the former Head of State nurtured many people, including him.

“He enabled the workers union membership to grow from 3,000 to one million and to the current four million.

“Moi recognised workers and never missed out on Labour Day celebrations,” Mr Atwoli said.

He said that Moi was a negotiator and instilled discipline to all stakeholders.