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A Tribute to President Daniel T Moi

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BY PROF JERONO ROTICH and PROF ERIC OTENYO

As we reflect on the life of our departed former President, it is befitting that we take a holistic picture of his contributions to our Nation’s political, social, and economic wellbeing. There are two epochs in Moi’s public service.

First is, Daniel Moi the schoolteacher, headmaster, pre-independence legislator, MP and the cabinet minister for Education and other ministries, and third vice president of the Republic of Kenya. Second, and perhaps most controversial, is his role as the second president of Kenya.

We quickly note that his service in the two broad categories amounts to a lifetime of service to humanity. President Moi has the longest record of public service in Kenya’s history. Therefore, it is not easy to compress his lifetime contributions to Kenya in a single book or one -page eulogy. 

Although we are free to focus our attention on his Presidency, which is checkered with both good and bad memories, at this time, we must honor his contributions as a man of his time. A hero to many who cherish his contributions to the young Nation, he steered firmly not to get torn apart like it’s neighboring countries, Somalia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Congo, among many others.

 As legislator during the pre-independence times, he was the voice for African teachers, and by extension, children. He fought hard to support the establishment of teachers’ unions and helped provide the legislative instruments leading to the formation of the Teachers Service Commission.

 As Vice President, history gives him flying colors! No Kenyan leader traversed the depths of the country, promoting the Harambe spirit as he did. President Jomo Kenyatta, as an aging leader, had limited mobility, and it is energetic Moi, who was the face of the leadership.

His imprints are all over the country. Critics argue that he named things for himself. Quite the contrary, communities named schools, roads, hospitals, and other public facilities in his honor. Furthermore, Moi gave both his time and money to help build Kenya. The Nyayo hospital wards were his brainchild-a cause that can be enhanced.

Moreover, even when the Nation faced enormous political challenges, it is Moi’s sense of calmness that gave hope. In 1967, the debates surrounding inclusivity and positions of small tribes in government were settled after Kenyatta appointed him to be the vice president.

He was symbolically the voice of the marginalized. He endured insults as has been described by Joseph Karimi and Philip Ochieng and, in their important book, The Kenyatta Succession.

However, it is not lost to historians that Moi’s first significant achievement after taking over from Jomo Kenyatta was to forgive and release those detained by Jomo Kenyatta’s ruling elite. This ability to forgive is part of his humility. He repeated it after his Presidency was over. He remarkably apologized for any wrongs that he did. That is a first in African politics.

It is a lesson that he continuously preached. Not only through his Nyayo philosophy (slogan of love, peace, and unity), but by the way, he lived and conducted his post-presidency affairs.

The idea of Nyayo is explored in his book, Kenya African Nationalism: Nyayo Philosophy and Principles (1986)which is a conservative statement about duty, nationalistic character, and political stability.

For him, Nyayo was about building on Kenyatta’s legacy of peaceful coexistence and not ruining a good thing. That is why he periodically reminded Kenyans to avoid bad politics, which he argued created disorder and strife.

We pay tribute to his leadership for several other reasons, as alluded to Moi promoted Education. The impact of institutions such as Moi University, among others, is enormous.

When he came to power, Kenya had only one major university with constituent colleges but by 2002, the number was six full-fledged universities. We salute his role in the expansion of Education that gave Kenya a well-known edge over its neighbors.

Scanning of the 24 years of his Presidency reveals that President Moi affected our national life and Africa in significant ways. Defying odds, President Moi, in December 1991, repealed section 2 (A) of the country’s constitution, which legalized a one-party rule. Moi decided despite opposition from pressure from a KANU National Delegates meeting resolution in favor of continuing with the single-party state. 

Furthermore, significantly, in marked contrast to many of the Big Men leaders of his time, Moi handed over the instruments of power to President Mwai Kibaki. Moi kept the peace. He rarely criticized his successor. When he spoke, it was with humility, believing that the government had an obligation to help the wananchi, especially those unable to help themselves.

We cannot say it enough about the late President Moi. His notable contributions to the education sector are unmatched. Not only did he support lower Education, but he also served as Chancellor of the public universities, including Moi, Kenyatta, and Nairobi.

By tying his nationalistic credentials to Education, Moi encouraged and empowered all to use Education as an instrument of national cohesion and development. He challenged the University of Nairobi to build its car (Nyayo Pioneer). His desire was for universities to be innovative and transformative. He initiated and encouraged discussions and initiatives to enhance curriculums. Although the 8-4-4 was not perfect, it was intended to revitalize the country’s workforce development and help reduce illiteracy.

As a president of great consequence, Moi supported African culture. He established the Ministry of Culture and, on many occasions, called upon Kenyans to be proud of their own cultures without politicizing their ethnicities. It is in that light that he ordered football clubs to discard tribal names. Moi’s charge lives on today. He hosted the All Africa Games in 1987. He promoted sports as a unifying tool, and his legacy on sports development does not only include stadiums-like Nyayo Stadium but tremendous success among Kenyan athletes.

We pay tribute to the late President Moi as a strong voice for African freedom. Moi came from the generation of leaders that fought for independence. He was a delegate at the Lancaster House Conferences that gave birth to Kenya’s freedom. We salute him as one of the founding fathers of Kenya and Africa’s sovereignty.  

It will not be lost to us that as President, Moi continued to speak for Africans. An excellent example of his belief in Africa’s sovereignty was when he addressed a meeting in Blantyre, Malawi, in May 2002. Moi told the audience at Sanjika Palace that Africa was doomed to perpetual poverty and backwardness unless her leaders set themselves free of egocentricity.

Moi called for African leaders to rethink their development strategies and form an “African League” to deal with issues concerning black Africans. Moi shocked the audience when he said: “It is a pity that some of the so-called leaders went back home to chop off the limbs of their subjects, including children.”

We also honor President Moi for being a champion of conservation. In leadership, one must act by example. In 1989, President Moi torched elephant ivory to discourage poaching. He built gabions to prevent soil erosion. He did not abandon the trenches and set an example of performing tasks that he asked others to execute.

Finally, it is essential to recognize that after Moi quit KADU for KANU, he never abandoned the independence party. This portrayed Moi as a firm believer in institutions and principles. Thus, is a lesson for Kenya’s new generation of leaders.

Political parties can self-govern and reinvent, so long as they serve the interests of their members and promote a set of principles and ideals. Moi worked hard to build a KANU brand, one that conjured certain ideals. Even if it lost members, it stood for specific core ideas. By tying the President’s popularity to a set of principles instead of a tribe, President Moi was exemplified as a champion of enduring principles.

As KESSA, we join hands with all Kenyans and mourn our departed second President Daniel T. Arap Moi. We thank him for his over five decades of dedicated service to Kenya and Africa. We send our condolences to his family and friends.REST IN PEACE!

On behalf of KESSA

Prof. Jerono Rotich, KESSA President and 

Prof. Eric Otenyo, KESSA Advisory Board Member 

 


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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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Health

Shock as man ‘resurrects’ in a Kericho mortuary

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There was drama at Kapkatet sub-county hospital in Kericho on Tuesday night when a 32-year-old man who had been presumed dead and taken to the mortuary regained consciousness close to three hours later.

Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Peter Kigen’s body when they noticed some movements.

Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo village in Bureti Constituency, is said to have collapsed while at home before his family took him to hospital.

His younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said he was present when Kigen collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.

“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui, who was still in shock, told The Standard.

After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was again asked to the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.

Kigen reportedly suffers from a chronic illness.

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“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.

He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”

However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkuriu said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that in fact, he was not dead.

Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.

“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who is still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.

Kigen, who spoke from his hospital bed yesterday, said he was shocked to learn that he was thought to have died and even taken to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe what just happened. How did they establish that I was dead?” he said.

Kirui, who donned his light-blue hospital uniform, was nevertheless happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism once he’s discharged from hospital.

“I did not even know where I was when I regained consciousness, but I thank God for sparing my life. I will serve him for the rest of my life,” he said.

The hospital’s medical superintendent Gilbert Cheruiyot said Kigen was in critical condition when he was brought in.

Dr Cheruiyot said: “His relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own.”

He said the clinical officers at the casualty were busy attending to other critically ill patients when Kigen was brought in, including an epileptic and a diabetic patient.

“They asked Kigen’s relatives to give them some time but they accused the clinicians of taking too much time and decided to take him to the mortuary. It was while the mortician was getting ready to embalm his body that she noticed some signs of life,” said Cheruiyot. He said the mortician informed the team at the casualty department which took Kigen back and begun resuscitating him. The process took three hours before the patient was stabilised.

“The patient was later taken to the ward and is responding well to treatment. We hope to discharge him in a few days,” Dr Cheruiyot said yesterday.

He added: “I advise those bringing their loved ones to the hospital to follow the laid down regulations. Before a body is moved the mortuary, it has to be certified by a clinician. In Kigen’s case, we can only say he was lucky, especially because of our qualified mortician who checked him before making any move,” said Cheruiyot.

The bizarre incident saw local MCAs, led by the Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno, storm the hospital. This is after Chelanget MCA Hezborn Tonui demanded a statement from the heath committee over the incident that shocked the county.


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Diaspora

VIDEO: 28 year old Kenyan woman marries a 60 year old German and tongues can’t stop wagging

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Ciru Njuguna is 28 and her husband Greg Twiss is 60. Please don’t let that age gap fool you, these two deeply love each other and they are living their best life together.

But when people say Ciru is just after Greg’s money and he will end up in a septic tank, that gets to her. She is not ashamed of her relationship and strongly urges the public to let other people be.

“My German husband is older than my father. People say I am his slave and he is a colonial master,” she says.

She sat down with Lynn Ngugi for this exclusive episode of Tuko Talks and this is her story.


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