Uhuru: Moi was like a giraffe, he could see future political trends
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday eulogised late president Daniel Moi as an astute politician who had a seemingly prophetic ability to predict future political trends.
President Kenyatta spoke during the ex-Head of State’s memorial service at the Nyayo National Stadium where he said Moi’s vision and foresight was likened by many politicians, including the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, to that of a giraffe.
He narrated how he learnt of Moi’s death on Tuesday February 4 while on transit abroad, upon which he “was engulfed with a sense of sadness and loss” and closed his eyes to say a word of prayer.
“I choose not to mourn the passing on of an icon, but rather to celebrate a Statesman and a giant of history. President Moi’s life, a full life – chronicled as ninety-six years, made him one of the few Kenyans, whose life journey closely mirrors all the stages of our beloved nation,” he said.
“We celebrate the remarkable journey of faith and hope that began in a sleepy village in Kabartonjo. The story must be told – of a ragged and barefooted orphan boy – knocking on the door of white Missionaries in search of help and enlightenment, at a time when illiteracy had a firm grip on our people and education was considered ‘foreign’ and ‘unwelcome.'”
President Kenyatta credited Moi with bringing calm to Kenya following the death of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the country’s first president, in 1978.
“The story must be told of the man, who on assuming apex office as the second president of the Republic, adopted a governance style and mantra that perfectly resonated with the needs and aspirations of his fellow citizens,” he said.
“The love for his country and his commitment to uniting Kenyans informed his Nyayo philosophy of ‘Peace, Love and Unity’, which became the rallying call for our nation; expressing our desire to be a cohesive nation of diverse communities, brought together by our shared values and aspirations.”
Under the Moi presidency, according to President Kenyatta, significant achievements were recorded in various fields such as education, women empowerment, and the civil service.
He stated: “We celebrate Mzee Moi for the transformation in the Education sector through the 8-4-4 System of Education, which we have recently re-energized under the Competence Based Curriculum; we remember him for the Nyayo Free Milk Programme, which was the precursor to our current school-feeding programmes; the establishment of countless Girls Schools at a time when the prevailing culture was firmly against education of the girl-child; the active promotion of the place of Women in leadership in politics, business and the civil service, amongst many other progressive initiatives.”
President Kenyatta also recalled how Moi led the nation mourning, and later, rebuilding after personally visiting the scene of the August 8, 1998 bombing of the U.S Embassy.
“On that day, he did the unprecedented and drove to the scene of the attack, in the company of the then luminaries of the opposition parties and they stood together for Kenya,” he narrated.
He mourned Moi as a “peacemaker, Statesman, Pan-Africanist” who spearheaded a number of initiatives that brought lasting peace in the region.
The Head of State also commended Moi for abiding by the wishes of Kenyans in 2002 and accepting to hand over the instruments of power peacefully.