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President Kenyatta’s speech at Moi’s memorial service

On Tuesday, February 4, 2020, while on transit abroad, it became my sad duty to announce to the Nation, the passing on of the Second President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Daniel Toroitich arap Moi.

Immediately upon receiving the news, I, like millions of Kenyans, was engulfed with a sense of sadness and loss.

With a heavy heart, I closed my eyes and said a prayer of thanks to our Almighty God, for the life of President Moi.

A prayer for peace and comfort for his Family, Friends, our Nation and our Continent; for he was truly a legendary Son of Kenya and Africa

On behalf of a nation in grief, I extend our heartfelt gratitude to the visiting Heads of State and Government, Former Heads of State and Government, Heads of delegations and other distinguished guests, who have joined us today for the National Memorial Service; and also to the many, many more people who sent their messages of condolences.

Over the last three days, we have witnessed an overwhelming expression of public sorrow, with hundreds of thousands of Kenyans lining up along the streets of our Nation’s capital, in unending queues to Parliament, to pay their last respects to the deceased President.

Fellow Kenyans,

The democratic narrative of our long march to nationhood must be told and retold for generations to come.

For today, we stand tall on the strong shoulders of our forefathers.  Mzee Moi’s place among those who dreamt of the modern Kenya is unshakeable.

Yes, even as we celebrate his life, the story MUST BE TOLD.

Fellow Kenyans,

Today, 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.

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”.

The Young Daniel Moi, now educated and with a wealth of opportunities available to him, true to the spirit of public service and commitment to helping others achieve their full potential; became a Teacher.  Naturally, the future President of the Republic of Kenya excelled in that role, rising to the rank of Head-Master in short order; whilst also embedding his life-long passion for education.

However, even as he scaled in his career, Daniel Moi understood the injustice of the colonial era that was all around him; and he decided to heed the call of the local community and put himself forward to serve as their representative in the Legislative Council (LEGCO).

There, and, together with other founding Fathers of our Nation, he helped Kenya seize a hard-fought independence from a colonial power, giving birth to the modern independent Nation that we live in today.

The story must be told of an astute politician, known for a seemingly prophetic ability to predict future political trends, many including the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga likened his foresight to a “giraffe”.  The Late Mzee Moi served in various capacities in independent Kenya.  He had the rare honour to serve his motherland as a Member of Parliament, a Cabinet Minister, the Vice-President; and finally as the President of the Republic of Kenya for twenty-four years, four months and eight days.

Fellow Kenyans,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

From his early life, President Moi understood the value of Kenya being bigger than any single person.  When the Nation called for bridging divides and putting the Country above self, he led his Party out of opposition and into Government, thereby ensuring that our nascent Republic was devoid of partisanship and political bickering.

When called to serve, throughout the 1960s and 70s, Mzee Moi served humbly and diligently, helping shape a modern and vibrant Nation.

Following the sudden death of the First President of the Republic of Kenya, the Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta President Moi stepped into apex leadership in 1978; and immediately brought calm and confidence to a Nation reeling in shock, following the unexpected death of our first Kenyan Head of State.

By Daily Nation 

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