Leaders from Kenya and the region and Kenyans converged at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi to pay their last respects to the late retired President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi in an inter-denominational requiem service on Tuesday. The late President who passed away last week on Tuesday is set to be buried on Wednesday at his Kabarak home. The Tuesday service came after a three-day body public-viewing period, where Mzee Moi’s body lay in state at parliament buildings.
The standout former President, whose 24-year reign was filled with the intrigues, controversies, glory and panache that follow the mantle of Presidency, was lauded by leaders at the service, who noted his patriotism, Pan-Africansim, astute political wits among other qualities. Speaking at the function, President Uhuru Kenyatta outlined Mzee Moi’s path to the political hot seat and his massive contributions to the growth of Kenya as a nation. He lauded Mzee Moi’s role in inter-Africa trade integration and building bridges among African states.
He said the former President was also dedicated to the stabilization of the East African Community, and that his caliber of leaders paved the way for current development in Africa, “We owe it to President Moi and the generation of visionary African leaders who dared to dream and envision the Africa Continental Free Trade agreement which we have now,” said President Kenyatta.
He further highlighted the role played by Mzee Moi to ensure peace is realized in the region, with peace initiatives in South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, DRC and Burundi.
Regional leaders, led by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni also lauded Mzee Moi’s influence. Museveni outlined the three qualities that made Moi stand out, qualities he said he had witnessed; Patriotism to Kenya, Dedication to the East African Community and the quality of reconciliation. Museveni said Moi was patriotic to Kenya and his dedication to the East African Community was always evident. “He wanted the East African Federation..he told me, as I spoke to him several times,” said the Uganda President. He further cited the period when they had taken over power in Uganda, and some camps started spreading false stories concerning them (Museveni and his camp) painting a bad image, at that time, Moi, out of anger, closed the border between Kenya and Uganda, “Later on we met at Teso and resolved our issues.”