Moi was no dictator

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Former President Moi

Leaders led by former Vice President and ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, former Westlands MP Fred Gumo, former minister Katana Ngala and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri and sportsman Sam Nyamweya, the leaders said though Moi was viewed as a dictator, he ensured there was discipline in politics.

“I never saw dictatorship but discipline and firm decisions of leadership. He was full of wisdom and knowledge,” former State House Assistant Comptroller and assistant minister Franklin Bett said.

They also defended claims that Moi was a dictator saying as a President ‘you must be respected and feared’.

Speaking outside Lee Funeral Home after viewing the body, Mr Mudavadi said Moi was mistaken for dictatorship because of being firm and advocating for discipline.

“He surprised many when he allowed constitutional amendments leading to multi-partism,” said the former Finance Minister.

According to him, Moi will be remembered for making the country stable in terms of national unity, participating in environment conservation and peace in African countries such as Uganda and Sudan.

Mr Ngunjiri said he attributes his political and economic growth to Moi having made him leader of Kanu party in Nakuru for a long time.

“He was transparent, honest and liked youth leadership. Moi had a big heart for all people of all races and tribes. He left a country with stable politics and current leaders should emulate him,” said Mr Ngunjiri.

Senator Wetang’ula eulogised Moi as a fierce crusader of peace and a lover of education and children.

He was nominated to Parliament by the former Head of State, and that marked beginning of his political career.

“He served for 24 years in the office of the President and nobody is likely to spend such a time in State House. He held my hand as I cut my first tooth in politics,” said Mr Wetangula.

On accusations that Moi was a dictator, the lawyer-cum-senator said despite all transgressions, Moi deserves credit for steering the country in most difficult times and political turbulence such as during clamour for multi-partyism.

Mr Nyamweya, a member of the infamous YK92 youth group eulogised Moi as a man who cared more about the future of the country.

He says that is the reason why Moi nurtured people like President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto among others.

“In 1992, we organised ourselves and campaigned for his re-election. We interacted with him and I can say he never discriminated anybody,” said Mr Nyamweya.

Mr Gumo said the former President was an ardent believer of the Christian faith and would quote bible verses randomly.

“Moi enjoyed being in the Presidency and was never threatened by anybody. He used to address people in impromptu tours,” stated Mr Gumo.

On Moi’s generosity, Mr Gumo said the former President used to invite his friends for lunch at State House and they would rush there only to find there were like 20 others also invited. Moi never ate alone, according to Mr Gumo.

He further defended claims that Moi was a dictator saying as a President ‘you must be respected and feared’.

“Without fear a President cannot manage people. Moi managed the people and country well. Moi never attacked his adversaries directly. He enjoyed life as a President and even in retirement,” said Mr Gumo.

After leaving State House, the politician had a sitting with Moi who told him that he was happy to see those who criticised his leadership in office facing the challenges he was also facing.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr asked the current political leaders to emulate the leadership of Mzee Moi by being tolerant and by cultivating national unity.

“Moi brought pastoralist communities to the mainstream decision making table in government. He will be remembered for implementing what he said and ensuring a democratic transition of power in 2002 when others thought he would cling to power,” said Mr Duale.