Hundreds of Kenyans yesterday continued to make their way to Kabarnet Gardens in Nairobi to pay tribute to former President Daniel arap Moi.
Delegations of politicians, civil servants, envoys, judges, lawyers, business people and friends of the family started arriving at the residence as early as 8 am. Baringo Senator Gideon Moi received them.The Council of Governors came in their numbers to stand with the family and to mourn Moi.
Those in attendance included Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Okoth Obado (Migori), Ali Roba (Mandera), Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Samuel ole Tunai (Narok), Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo), Dhadho Godhana (Tana River), Mohamud Ali (Marsabit) and Amason Kingi of Kilifi.
Led by Mr Iria, they met with Gideon for two hours and recounted their personal experiences with Moi. They eulogised the former president for not only being “a father of the nation but also the founder of devolution”.”We have not only lost a father of the nation but a father of majimbo. He advanced and advocated majimboism, which is devolution.
We represent the voice of the village,” said Iria.The governors also encouraged Gideon to follow in his father’s steps, noting that he was “an able leader who could foster peace, love and unity that were his father’s philosophy.”
“An apple does not fall far from the tree. We know you will step into your father’s shoes. We know you have the ability and the charisma to do that,” said Mr Iria.A few hours later, senators and members of the National Assembly arrived to condole with the family. They were led by James Orengo (Siaya) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet).
The MPs eulogised Moi as “a visionary leader who was generous at heart but firm in his leadership duties.”Those present included Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu), Amos Wako (Busia), Enock Wambua (Kitui), Fatuma Dullo (Isiolo), Fred Outa (Kisumu), Boniface Kabaka (Machakos), Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay), Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni), Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira) as well as nominated Beatrice Kwamboka, Rose Nyamunga, Dennitah Ghati and Abshiro Halakhe.They said Moi would be remembered for his contribution in the education sector and provision of free milk for primary school children.
Mr Orengo said the former president was a leader who served the public in many capacities, climbing the ranks from a teacher to vice president and finally president for 24 years.“There is a lot to celebrate about the passing on of the retired president. There is nobody who has served in Parliament more than Moi. He rose through the ranks and became the leader of government business in Parliament,” he said.
Mr Murkomen elicited laughter among his colleagues when he said he grew up knowing that the name ‘Moi’ was used by presidents across the world.”We grew up knowing that Moi was the name of a president. We used to ask ‘who is the Moi of Uganda or the Moi of Tanzania’. He has left a rich legacy. He invested heavily in education to provide access to those who came from remote areas,” he said.
Gideon expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for finding time to condole with his family, saying he knew his father had “gone well”.”He tried to open his eyes and looked at me, then he rested at about 5.20am. It is with humility that I express my gratitude for finding time to come and condole with us,” he said.
Members of Parliament present were Jared Okello (Nyando), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Charles Kamuren (Baringo South), William Kamket (Tiaty), William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Paul Abuor (Rongo), Sam Atandi (Alego Usonga), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Hilary Kosgei (Kipkelion West), Otiende Amollo (Rarieda) and Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi North).
The Women Reps present included Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay), Fatuma Gedi (Wajir), Gladwel Cheruiyot (Baringo) and Sofia Adan (Marsabit).Other leaders who visited the home to pay tribute were Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung’u, former Director of Public Prosecutions Philip Murgor, Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli and former Football Kenya Federation president Sam Nyamweya.