Retired President Daniel Moi may have been accused of grabbing land during his 24-year reign but during his burial at his Kabarak home, it emerged that he turned down proposals by some government officials to ‘inherit’ State House.
This was revealed yesterday by Dr Sally Kosgey, Moi’s last head of public service, during her tribute to a man she described as generous and patriotic.
Dr Kosgey was among the leaders who eulogised the late President at a function held at Kabarak University.
ODM leader Raila Odinga described Moi as a giraffe, that could predict and tell what was going to happen in the future.
He revealed that one time when he visited the former President, he welcomed and told him (Raila) pole (sorry), for having lost his son Fidel and also asked him to plan on how to pick up a cow he had promised Odinga Junior (Raila’s son) during his wedding.
Just like his father mourned Jomo Kenyatta, Mr Odinga also performed Luo burial rites at the coffin of the late President.
Moi’s son Gideon, who is also the Baringo senator, revealed that President Kenyatta’s family stood with his family during the mourning period.
He said the President’s family was the first to condole with them noting that Mr Kenyatta’s sister Christina Pratt, was the first to visit Moi’s room when he died, despite having undergone a medical procedure in the same hospital an hour before.
Deputy President William Ruto said he was a proud graduate of Moi.
He said he would forever be indebted to Mzee Moi as he learnt many things that have shaped his political career.
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi, lauded Mzee Moi’s contribution in education.
“Mzee Moi presided over the most rapid expansion programme in education. He ensured schools were distributed evenly in all the 47 counties,” said Mr Mudavadi, who was Moi’s last vice-president.
Other leaders who eulogised late Moi include Lt Gen Lazarus Sumbeiywo (rtd), Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu, former Langata MP and minister Philip Leakey, Cotu secretrary-general Francis Atwoli, former Speaker Francis ole Kaparo, Tiaty MP William Kamkaket, Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya and Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis.
Lt Gen Sumbeiywo (rtd) said Moi had a passion for negotiating peaceful deals in conflict zones.
“He (Moi) was involved in mediating the conflict between Samburu-Turkana, Turkana-Pokot and across our borders,” he said.
Dr Karugu, who spoke on behalf of watoto wa Nyayo (Nyayo’s children), lauded the former President for paying her school fees.
Mr Kaparo said that it was “impossible to get enough time to speak about what Moi achieved.”
“Moi never despised anyone whether you went to report or praise someone. Regardless of your tribe, he listened to everyone and was always fair in making his decision. I was from a very remote area and from a small tribe but he made me an assistant minister,” he recalled.
Mr Atwoli said that together with other Kanu life members, he was ready to support Gideon as heir to Moi’s political kingdom.
“Moi was an exceptional leader who loved the country and nurtured a lot of people. He enabled the workers’ union membership to grow from 3,000 to one million and the current four million,” he said.
Reported by Nyambega Gisesa, Francis Mureithi and Phyllis Musasia