President Daniel Arap Moi will go down in history as a man who was both adored and loathed by his citizens in equal measure.
When he rose to power back in 1978 after the death of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi was initially regarded as a weakling who pragmatists the likes of the powerful Attorney General; Sir Charles Njojo would easily manipulate from behind the scenes.
But this was not to be.
During his 24-year reign, President Moi ruled with an Iron fist. His opponents would often fall victim to his despotic ruthlessness. Some were wiped off the face of the earth.
Nonetheless, some people viewed Moi as an ideal nationalist and a patriotic leader who genuinely loved his country. That is why despite his many ‘weaknesses’, there has been no shortage of eulogies.
Most of the elite politicians of today trained under his feet and owe it to him as their political Godfather. Despite a fall out with the former head of state back in 2005, Deputy President William Ruto said that despite Moi’s imperfections, he was a genuine and caring President.
On his part, ODM leader, Mr. Raila Odinga said that even after being terrorized by Moi’s regime back in 1982, where he served a six-year prison sentence in deplorable conditions, he had since forgiven Moi and that the pair later made their peace and shook hands. Much more like the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
But President Moi had a soft place for education and is credited with pioneering free primary education in the country. He also pioneered a free school milk program commonly known as Maziwa ya Nyayo, a national scheme that greatly boosted school enrollment.
At the helm of his Presidency, Moi was among the Wealthiest individuals in the country, amercing a fortune of nearly 3 Billion dollars. His estate still controls key sectors of the economy and expected to be inherited by his family.
At the time of his demise, he was 96 years old and had 8 children namely; Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Rongai MP Raymond Moi, Philip Moi, John Mark, the late Jonathan Moi. They also have three sisters – Jennifer, Doris, and June.
Moi will be laid to rest at his Kabarak home where close to 50,000 thousand Kenyans are expected to attend the burial.