Why President Moi will not be Buried at Night

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President Daniel Moi in his younger years

The Kenya Police has announced plans to close several roads on Tuesday in preparation for President Moi’s memorial service at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi. From 6sam for example, Aerodrome Road Nairobi and Uhuru Highway Nairobi will be closed. So will Bunyala, Valley Road, Bunyala, and University Way roundabout. Police Inspector-General Hillary Mutyambai made the announcement in Nairobi. Moi’s funeral is set for Wednesday in Kabarak, Nakuru County.

Major highways have not been spared either. The Nairobi-Eldoret highway will experience traffic disruptions on Tuesday and Wednesday. Heavy commercial trailers and Trucks will not be allowed on the highway starting Tuesday at 7 pm. Police will be deployed along the route to ensure security and traffic flow.

Mutyambai asked road users to follow instructions so that the former head of state gets a befitting send-off.


Ruto Shares how he Learned Generosity from Moi

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto has shared how he bought his first car thanks to Moi’s generosity. Ruto was a student at the University of Nairobi when he visited the president with some colleagues. They asked the former head of state to give them a piece of land and he gifted them a prime property in Eldoret Town. Ruto and his friends sold the land and he bought his first car.

Ruto was speaking on Citizen TV when he eulogized the former president as a very generous person. Ruto says that he learned the joy of giving from president Daniel Moi.

Even though Ruto’s relationship with Moi was rosy at first, he eventually fell out with the larger-than-life president. Ruto announced his intention to run for the presidency at an Eldama Ravine political meeting in 2005. This angered Moi who found Ruto too inexperienced to be the Kalenjin flagbearer.

William Ruto characteristically refers to their fall out as a ´small problem.´ It became clear to Moi that the ´small problem´ had changed his relationship with Moi for the foreseeable future when he stopped by Kabarak with 15 MPs only to find the gates locked. Guards told them that the president did not want to see him. It was the first time for Ruto, then a young leader, to be turned away at Kabarak. It was not an experience that he would quickly forget.


President Moi has left behind a personal fortune worth billions of shillings. Pundits are watching to see how his estate will be shared among his siblings. Politically at least, Moi{s son Baringo Senator Gideon Moi appears to be a clear favorite to take over his political leadership.

Even from his deathbed, Moi controlled his business interests, with lawyers delivering cheques to Nairobi Hospital for his signature. So far Gideon has visibly taken up his father´s business and political legacy.

Upon his death, Raymond Moi has emerged as a family spokesman. Raymond is the Member of Parliament for Rongai constituency in Nakuru. There are two other brothers, Philip and John Mark. Jonathan Moi passed away in 2019 from cancer. They have two sisters June and Jeniffer.

Departure from Kalenjin Funeral Rites

Daniel Moi is the second president of the Republic of Kenya. He ruled from 1978 to 2002

Kalenjin elders have advised that Moi should be buried at night with his head facing the sunset so that he awakens to the morning sun. This tradition will not be followed to the letter because AIC clerics have since announced that he will be buried in the afternoon and not at night.

The departure from Kalenjin culture is meant to honor Moi’s Christian heritage. His head will still face the East in deference to Kalenjin burial rites for an elder.

The Chairman of the Kalenjin Council of Elders John Seii said that Moi cannot be buried at sunrise or sunset because of his status as a Kalenjin leader and elder. Seii said that they had to deviate from some Kalenjin customs because the burial was a national issue.

Moi’s burial site has already been chosen by Tugen elders. He will be buried in front of his Kabarak home, on the right-hand side. Military officers will be digging the grave of the former Commander of the Armed forces.

The elders intimated that the display of traditional Kalenjin rites would be minimal since Moi was a devoted Christian and a national figure. Kalenjin tradition would require that men from his own age group – Chumo – bury him. His contemporaries in the ‘Chumo’ age group are over 84 years old. Military officers will prepare the grave.


Last Respects

An older President Daniel Moi

Kalenjin elders based in Eldoret have been circulating condolence books to allow as many people as possible to express their condolences. Mzee Chepsiror said that the condolence books would be delivered to Kabarak on the burial day which is Wednesday.

Moi will receive a 19-gun salute from the military at his burial.

Daniel’s Moi will have lain in state for three days by the time of his memorial service in Nyayo Stadium and subsequent burial at Kabarak.

Thousands of Kenyans have been trooping into Parliament buildings to view Moi’s body. They are streaming in from different parts of the country. His memorial service at Nyayo stadium is expected to draw a full attendance.

Mourners trooped in from as far away as Mombasa. At the end of the day, his body is returned to the Lee Funeral Home for the night before being brought back in the morning for viewing.

Security officers struggled with crowd control as large numbers of people came in, anxious to say goodbye to the former head of state. It is a unique opportunity for wananchi to walk into the hallowed halls of parliament buildings.


Moi’s Career

President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi as he was referred to had an illustrious career. It is no mean feat for an orphaned boy from Baringo to rise to the highest office in the land.

Born in 1924, Moi is an alumnus of Kapsbet Boys High School and Tambach Teachers College. His first job was as a teacher. He then progressed to Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister, Vice President, and finally President of the Republic of Kenya.

Many of today’s leaders served under Moi, including former President Emilio Mwai Kibaki, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, NASA leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, Governors Charity Ngilu, as well as Members of Parliament Adan Keynan, and Nicholas Biwott. Politician Musalia Mudavadi was also a Moi protege.



Joyce Sambu
Author: Joyce Sambu

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