Retired President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday mourned his predecessor Daniel arap Moi, praising Kenya’s second president for his “legendary mastery at thwarting crises.”
In his message of condolence to Moi’s family, Kibaki also praised Moi for conceding to demands for the restoration of multi-party politics.
According to Kibaki, Moi’s ability to assert state authority also saved Kenya from undergoing long periods of civil unrest as witnessed in other African countries.
“I have known Mzee Moi for decades and have worked with him for many years. I therefore have personal and nostalgic memories of Mzee Moi accruing from shared national platforms and responsibilities. Over time, I have had a chance to appreciate the best of Mzee Moi’s statesmanship and skillfulness in the conduct of statecraft both during the blissful and tumultuous moments that Kenya has traversed,” he said in a statement emailed to newsrooms.
“With time, his mastery at thwarting crises became legendary as was his ability to assert state authority. That is largely how Kenya stabilized as a number of countries in the region and continent suffered disruptions and long periods of civil unrest.”
Kibaki added: “As the political atmosphere in Kenya progressively underwent transformation, so did President Moi. To his credit, it is during his tenure as Head of State when political pluralism was reinstated in Kenya.”
“Clearly, the return of multipartyism has opened up Kenya’s democratic space in ways hitherto unimagined.”
The former President also praised his predecessor for the smooth handover of power in 2002.
“President Moi’s abiding charisma was best exhibited in 2002 when he oversaw an unprecedented smooth transition of power as he proceeded to his retirement. His willingness to readily usher the next Head of State remains a badge of honour on his leadership as well as statesmanship credentials,” the 88-year-old stated.
“Daniel arap Moi’s legacy is deeply etched in the unfolding memoir of our nation. His contribution to the Kenya we all desire is also indelibly tattooed in the annals of our national history. May the late Daniel Toroitich arap Moi rest in peace,” concludes Kibaki.
Daniel Arap Moi passed on peacefully surrounded by his family at around 5:20 am Tuesday morning.
Kenyans will be able to view his body on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at a venue yet to be disclosed.
There will be a funeral service at Kasarani on Tuesday and he will be buried on Wednesday in Kabarak.