Kenyans in their thousands joined long queues along the streets of Nairobi to have a chance to pay their last respects to former President Daniel arap Moi whose body was lying in state at Parliament Buildings ahead of the Wednesday burial..
The public viewing was opened last Saturday after President Uhuru Kenyatta officiated the exercise after paying his last respects to the late president who passed on the 4th of February 2020 while he was out of the country on official duties.
Uhuru accompanied was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the event in which Deputy President Dr. William Ruto and former first lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta also paid their homage to the departed former head of state
Members of the public from all over the country have since thronged parliament buildings since the three days exercise which lapses on Monday during which the late President will lay in state.
The late Moi who passed on aged 96 is the father of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Rongai Member of Parliament Mr. Raymond Moi. He passed away in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at the Nairobi hospital where he was undergoing treatment.
Kenyans who turned up to pay their last respects said they were eager to give him the honour because he was a good man and leader who cherished peace, love and unity of the nation, and also promoted environmental conservation, as well as promoted sports which has made Kenya to be recognized globally.
They also eulogized the 2nd Head of State as a statesman and an icon who will be remembered for contributing immensely to the development of the country and boosting education to a high level and urged the current leaders to emulate the unity he fostered when he was leading Kenyans.
The former President’s body was escorted to Parliament by the military in a gun carriage and it will similarly be ferried to Nyayo Stadium on Tuesday February 11, 2020 for an interdenominational memorial service, a day that the government has declared a public holiday to enable every Kenyan participate in the celebrations
The former Head of State will be interred at his Kabarak home on Wednesday February 12, 2020, where he will be accorded full military ceremonial honours and a 19-gun-salute.
And in a related development, Prominent women leaders who served under the late President Moi administration paid a call at the family home at Kabarnet Gardens in Nairobi to condole with the bereaved.
The delegation of women leaders, popularly referred to as “Trailblazers” in the women’s movement, were led by the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service and Gender, Prof. Margaret Kobia.
In a press release to the media, the women in their condolence message acknowledged the contribution the former Head of State made in enhancing women’s rights in the country.
They hailed the former President for opening space for women to participate in leadership and decision-making processes at a time when patriarchy was the norm.
They noted that during the Moi era, the Third Women’s Global Conference was successfully hosted in Kenya ushering in a national agenda of women’s empowerment and participation in all spheres of national development.
They accredited the former President for appointing Nyiva Mwendwa as the first woman cabinet minister in 1995.
“Many other women were appointed to positions of leadership as assistant ministers and to board members in public institutions,” Prof. Kobia said.
The women leaders acknowledged the former Head of State for spearheading the establishment of numerous girls’ schools across the country and for championing women economic empowerment through women-friendly policies and programs.
“Women of this country shall forever treasure the immense support that the President gave especially to marginalized rural women through women networks such as Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Organization which transformed life for women and their families in rural areas,” Mama Phoebe Asiyo added.
They described Moi as a patriot who continued to build on national cohesion by his call for Peace, Love and Unity. “As mothers of the nation, we cherish these values and embrace them as important principles for our national ethos,” they added.
The delegation included Mama Phoebe Asiyo, Zipporah Kittony, Nyiva Mwendwa, Prof. Leah Marangu, Dr. Jennifer Riria, Prof. Wanjiku Kabira and Rahab Muiu, among others.
By Bernadette Khaduli and Wangari Ndirangu