A veteran Politian in Narok County has joined Kenyans in mourning former President Daniel Arap Moi who passed on two days ago at the Nairobi Hospital.
The Kimintet Ward Member of County Assembly, Kuyo Ole Kijabe described the former President as a close friend and father who mentored him in politics.
Ole Kijabe recalled how Moi would call him through the District Commissioner’s office to go to State House in Nakuru to inquire on the trending issues in Narok.
He spoke at his home in Kimintet ward, Trans Mara West Sub county where he said he has visited Moi thrice in the last three years when he was ailing.
The politician who has served as the area councilor for over 35 years remembers how Moi cautioned him against buying alcoholic drinks to the people he led and instead challenged him to be a responsible leader.
“He once called me to caution me against buying alcoholic drinks for residents, he instead asked me to give them money that can boost their livelihood,” remembered Kijabe.
The county legislator who has never lost an election since he joined politics in 1982 and the only MCA who contributes to assembly debates in Kiswahili prayed for the Moi family to be strong during this period of mourning.
Ole Kijabe continued the late former president was full of wisdom as he would resolve disputes among his cabinet leaders who often used to disagree and to some point exchange bitter words at each other.
“I remember I was in Statehouse Nakuru when late William Ntimama had threatened to quit KANU when Moi called him to speak to him. They resolved their differences immediately and Ntimama came out smiling,” he said.
The MCA is alleged to be among the richest people in the county and attributes his wealth to Moi whom he says held his hand and taught him how to make money.
Other message of condolence has come from the former Ndhiwa MP, Tom Obondo. In an elaborate interview with KNA, Obondo said that Moi acted as his father who groomed him in politics.
The former MP recalled his journey to State House in early 1978 when he was a student at the University of Nairobi. As a student leader in the university, Obondo led a delegation of his fellow students in which they met Moi who was the then Vice President.
As a mere student leader, Obondo never knew that the short meeting would create good rapport with Moi. He was surprised later when Moi identified him as a young man who could be trusted with information.
“I used to meet Moi at the State House after every two weeks in which we shared matters pertaining to politics of this country,” Obondo said.
Later in 1989 Obondo’s star began shining in the political arena when Moi appointed him the director of Recruitment for membership in the Kenya African National Union (KANU). By then KANU was the robust and the only political party in Kenya.
During that time, directorate of recruitment in KANU was not only a lucrative but a popular position.
Obondo however ditched KANU and joined Ford Kenya before he was elected Ndhiwa MP in 1992.
He trusted Moi’s leadership and believed he would promote more development projects in his constituency if they were in the same political party. For that matter, Obondo defected back to KANU in 1994.
This led to a by-election in which he failed to recapture the seat. Former Internal Security Assistant Minister, the late Orwa Ojode won the election.
Moi had many friends in South Nyanza region besides Obondo. Among them was the South Nyanza County Council Chairperson, the late Linus Akech Chieng’, former Karachuonyo MP, the late Okiki Amayo, former permanent Secretary, the late Hezekiah Oyugi, former Ndhiwa MPs, Owigo Olang’ and Otieno Ogingo.
By Ann Salaton/KNA