No let-up in Moi family tribulations
Posted Saturday, March 10 2012 at 22:30
- In his 24-year rule, no one dared take the President or his family to court over any civil or criminal matter; with that gone, accusations have been flying from all sides
The family of former President Daniel arap Moi has once again been thrust into the limelight following a sensational murder claim levelled against one of his sons by the father of a British tourist murdered in the Maasai Mara more than 20 years ago.
Last week, Mr John Ward accused Mr Moi’s eldest son, Jonathan, of raping and murdering his daughter Julie in early September, 1988.
The accusation comes hot on the heels of a warrant of arrest issued against another of Mr Moi’s sons, Philip, in a matter relating to his divorce proceedings.
Though unrelated, the two incidents add to a growing litany of civil and criminal court actions and accusations that are stalking the family of the second President nearly 10 years into his retirement.
Writing in the Nairobi Law Monthly magazine, Mr Ward claims that the younger Moi used his name to cover up his crime and further accuses the British Government of complicity in shielding Jonathan Moi.
In the article, Mr Ward also claims that Jonathan had his brother-in-law and long-time friend Ishmael Choge, an alleged witness to the crime in the Mara, killed after he threatened to go public with the story of the murder.
Jonathan has strongly denied the accusations. “I am totally shocked to hear this. I had no relationship with the said lady (Julie) and I even didn’t know her. I never did such a thing, and it has never crossed my mind to do it,” he told The Star newspaper after the story was published.
He also denied involvement in Choge’s death saying he was saddened by the death of his brother-in-law and motor rallying co-driver.
The matter will probably end up in court, but even then the accusations undoubtedly further damage the Moi family’s reputation that has been going through testing times lately.
Indeed when the 87-year-old former President ought to be enjoying his State-funded retirement, he is spending a considerable amount of his time and resources briefing lawyers as he fights off a growing catalogue of cases filed mostly by former political and business associates.
In his biography, Moi: The Making Of An African Statesman, author Andrew Morton says the elder Moi has enjoyed his family life.
But if the tumultuous family lives of his sons are anything to go by, then he must be devastated.
Mr Moi has five sons and two daughters: Gideon, Raymond, Dorris, John Mark, Jonathan, June and Philip. Almost all of them have come under scrutiny at different times in their lives over various issues.
Philip’s drawn-out drama-filled divorce case with his wife Pluda has led to a warrant of arrest being issued against him for contempt after he failed to pay maintenance for his wife and children as directed by the court. (READ: Moi’s son steps up fight against arrest)
Earlier in 2003, Jonathan, popularly known as JT by his close friends, had to contend with a messy divorce in which his wife claimed that he had been having an illicit love affair with a primary school teacher’s wife for several years.
In 2010, John Mark’s wife requested the court to recognise her as her husband’s guardian in a case in which 22-year-old Esther Wanjiku, who claims to be John Mark’s daughter, was suing for support. John Marm is schizophrenic, his wife told a Nakuru court.
Apart from the family feuds, a majority of the cases brought against Mr Moi and his family are of economic nature, mostly instigated by former political allies. A few of the cases have been of a criminal nature.
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