Former and current politicians, businessmen and villagers were among those who sent messages of condolences to the family of retired President Daniel arap Moi following his death at Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday morning.
The first Narok Senator, Mzee Philip Lemain condoled with the family saying his personal experience with the Late Mzee Moi was amazing as he learnt a lot from him.
Lemain recalled he first met the late Moi at Kapsabet Teachers College in 1942 where they were classmates and good friends while doing the teaching course.
“I remember he was our dining hall captain. Back in college, one would tell he would be an influential person in the society as he had strong leadership skills,” recalled Mzee Lemain now 94 years old.
Mzee Lemain said after college, Moi influenced him to join politics to represent the Maa community in the KADU party.
“Moi joined active politics before me. In 1962, Moi and the late Justus Ole Tipis approached me to form a new political party KADU. I became the treasurer for the party in Narok District,” said Mzee Lemain.
He said later he hosted Moi at his Narok home where he came to familiarize himself with the new party KADU, among the Maasai community.
Mzee Lemain continued following the influence from Moi and he was elected as the first senator for Narok from 1963 to 1966 before the Senate was abolished and merged with the House of Representatives. He was later elected as the first MP for Narok South in the year 1966 to 1969.
“I feel bad that my old friend Mzee Moi is now gone. I acknowledge most of my youthful successes to him,” reiterated Mzee Lemain.
Another veteran business man Zachariah Kamiti, 92 who was the first man to open a Bata shop and a Hotel in Narok town said Moi came in person to open his premises in January 1978, when he was the Vice President of Kenya.
The Baringo leaders led by Deputy governor, Jacob Chepkwony, former Kabarnet Mayor, Ambrose Kandie and Bishop Daniel Chemon of Full Gospel Churches of Kenya (FGCK), Kabarnet town, who said they learnt of the passing on Moi with great shock and disbelief also sent their condolences to the family, relatives of the late president and Kenyans in general.
The leaders who included MCA John Tarus of Sacho ward, Moi’s birth place, said Kenyans have lost a great leader who touched the lives of many Kenyans through his unsurpassed development activities across the country citing the construction of learning institutions, hospitals, road infrastructure and churches.
They wished the family led by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi courage and fortitude during this trying moment as they mourn and celebrate the life and times of their father who served the people of Kenya, Africa and beyond selflessly and with humility.
Following Moi’s demise, hundreds of Kabarnet residents since have been streaming to the governor’s office to sign a condolence book and a tent has been erected for them to conduct the exercise while another special place has been reserved for VIPs to sign the book.
Former Assistant Minister, Said Hemed described President Moi as a great African Statesman and a remarkable leader who served the country with dedication and sacrifice.
“I have known the former President for many years and was privileged to work in his government as an Assistant Minster,” said Hemed who also served as Kenya’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia during Moi’s leadership.
Hemed who was a Member of Parliament for Kisauni Constituency said despite retiring from politics about 18 years ago, Moi was still being held in great veneration by Kenyans and the whole world.
The former Member of the East Africa Legislative Assembly, Mohamed Zubedi said the death of former President Moi was not only a loss to his family and Kenya but the whole of Africa.
Zubedi said the country was enjoying peace and stability due to the firm foundation left by former President Moi whose leadership gave hope and sense of belonging to every single Kenyan.
Others who sent their condolences were Kaloleni MP, Paul Katana, former Mombasa Mayor, Rajab Sumba and the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) through the Organizing Secretary, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa.
The Laikipia Governor, Ndiritu Muriithi said Moi had a good vision for this country’s economy during his office tenure. “When Moi expanded secondary school opportunities, he paved the way for achievement of the middle class economy that Kenya is today,” he added in his tribute to president Moi on behalf of the people of Laikipia.
The governor noted that Moi’s initiative to expand secondary schools opportunities is significant because in order to attain middle income status, any society requires at least 25 percent of its population to have post-secondary education.
Governor Muriithi however, noted it is so unfortunate that some of Moi’s well-meaning and progressive policies were never appreciated, let alone followed through with the keenness they deserved.
From neighbouring Nyeri County, the Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said he had the privilege to serve in Moi government for 14 years as an administrative officer and enjoyed a one to one relationship with him.
He also termed the late president Moi as a kind and generous man who gave his ear to all including ordinary people and junior officers in his government.
“I learnt from him the value of hard work, total commitment to what you believe in, passion to serve and always having a big heart for the less fortunate in the society,” said Rigathi.
Veteran politician cum businessman, Peter Kuguru said the death of President Daniel Arap Moi is not only a loss to his family but to the nation at large.
Kuguru described Moi as a close family friend adding that he severally interacted with the late President in the 80’s and 90’s when his father, the late Davidson Ngibuini Kuguru, served in the Cabinet.
By KNA Team