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Former President Daniel Moi celebrates 95th birthday

Monday September 02 2019
MOIBIRTHDAY

Former President Daniel Arap Moi cuts a cake to mark his past birthday. The former Head of State celebrated his 95th birthday on September 2, 2019 at his Kabarak home. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

Retired President Daniel Arap Moi turned 95 on Monday.

The Kenyan second president celebrated his birthday in a private function at his Kabarak home with close family only.

According to the former Head of State’s press secretary Lee Njiru, Mr Moi’s family members among them his children and grandchildren celebrated his birthday.

“President Moi’s family members celebrated his life in a special way, to thank God for his life. Mzee Moi urged Kenyans to be thankful to God for his protection and good life,” said Mr Njiru in a statement.

FACEBOOK POST

His son, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, in his Facebook account sent his father a heart-warming message saying.

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“Happy 95th birthday to Mzee Moi. You are a beacon that continues to shine through the lives of the people. We wish you good health and abundant God’s providence.”

Contrary to previous birthdays when leaders flocked Mr Moi's Kabarak home to celebrate his birthday, Monday’s event was a low key celebration.

However, Kenyans on Twitter and other social media platforms shared memorable photos of Mzee Moi during his 24-year tenure as Head of State.

@DanToroitich‏ said: "We really miss your times when life was cheap. Long life Mzee Nyayo.”

Another social media user James Ombati said…"Happy 95th Birthday President Moi. May God grant you many more years."

Mzee Moi joined politics in 1955, when he was elected as a member of the legislative council.

He founded Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) alongside Ronald Ngala to challenge the Kenya Africa National Union (KANU) led by the first President, Mzee Kenyatta.

He is remembered for introducing free milk programmes for primary school children, which was popularly known as Maziwa Ya Nyayo.

Moi was born on September 2, 1924 and served as the second President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002.

He took over from Kenya's founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta following his death on August 22, 1978.

INFLUENTIAL

Mzee Moi turned 95, at a time when, 17 years after leaving office, he has been at the heart of the 2022 presidential elections.

Mzee Moi, who ruled Kenya for 24 years, four months and eight days, has not been in active politics in the recent past, but has been in the limelight due to the delegations he has been receiving at his Kabarak home.

In a country where political leadership is more about making the right alliances and political ties as opposed to torturous campaigns across the country, the rare meetings of Mzee Moi with a select group of politicians have proved unsettling for those in the 2022 race to State House.

As political realignments shape up by day, at the centre of the President Uhuru Kenyatta succession politics has been Mzee Moi, considered in his heyday a professor of politics.

LEADERS VISIT KABARAK FOR BLESSINGS

His Kabarak home, in Nakuru County has played host to a number of key figures across the political divide, majority of them key contenders in the 2022 presidential race to seek the former Head of State’s blessings, but similar attempts by deputy president Dr William Ruto have been thwarted.

Today, Kabarak is turning out to be the stage where the future of Kenya’s next president is being shaped.

The home has become particularly important since the March 9 handshake between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Among those who have visited him, in his Kabarak home, include opposition leader Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, State House Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua, Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary-General Francis Atwoli among others, a move that sparked a debate about the 2022 presidential race.

PUBLICISED VISITS

The meetings have one thing in common: Baringo Senator Gideon who has expressed interest at the presidency in 2022, would usher in the visitors, and pictures will be quickly circulated online, with either a very short statement from Mzee Moi’s office, or none, with Kenyans left to speculate on the contents of the engagements.

Political observers believe there is more than meets the eye in the trend of top politicians visiting the former president’s Kabarak home most from known political dynasties.

Having played a role in grooming most of the Kenyan politicians, Mzee Moi is considered to be a factor that will shape the 2022 presidential contest especially in the Rift Valley region.

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