About 30,000 people set to attend Moi’s funeral service, says Oguna
Zadock Angira, Bernard Gitau and Noah Cheploen
About 30,000 people, 12 heads of state and six delegates from different countries are expected to attend the funeral service of retired President Daniel arap Moi at the Nyayo National Stadium this morning.
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna said Moi’s body is expected to leave the Lee Funeral Home at 7.30am drawn by a gun carriage under escort of the military to Nyayo stadium.
All Kenyans and visitors planning to attend the memorial service should be seated by 7am.
The President is expected at the venue at around 10am when the prayer service will start.
The ceremony is expected to end at 12.30pm after which the body will be taken back to Lee Funeral Home.
The body, according to Oguna, will be airlifted in a military plane to Kabarak on Wednesday at around 7am.
“The exercise is expected to be seamless. All those Kenyans intending to attend should be there by 7am,” he said.
The body of President Moi, which has been lying in state at the Parliament Buildings was yesterday evening returned to the funeral home after three days.
The casket will be draped in the national flag and escorted by Moi’s family members and on reaching the stadium, it will be taken around the field as the military march in front, in slow motion.
Among the visitors expected is an Ethiopian delegation led by the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, HE Sahle-Work Zewdie.
The facelift of the stadium, which was closed in 2018 for maintenance, was completed yesterday and everything had been put in place last evening.
On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta accompanied by the Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe made an impromptu visit to ensure that the venue was ready.
Today, Valley Road, Aerodrome Road, Uhuru Highway, Likoni and Bunyala roads and University Way roundabout will be closed from 6am.
The Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai also said traffic will be disrupted between Nairobi and Eldoret today and tomorrow.
All heavy commercial trucks and trailers will not be allowed along the Eldoret-Nairobi Highway from today 12noon to tomorrow, Wednesday, 7pm.
“There will be enhanced police deployment to ensure public safety and security, and for traffic control and enforcement along the routes,” Mutyambai said.
The Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, who is leading the burial preparations, yesterday said he was impressed by the facelift and said they were set for today’s service.
Meanwhile, Kenyans greeted the news that only snacks and sodas will be available for mourners during Moi’s burial at his Kabarak home in Nakuru county tomorrow with shock and disbelief.
Disappointed Kenyans moved to social media to vent, accusing the government and organisers of being “stingy and mean”, saying it was unAfrican to bury an elder and a senior statesman with soda and snacks.
Yesterday, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya told the press in his office that snacks and sodas will be provided for the first 30,000 mourners. However, he said that the venue is big enough to hold as many as 60,000 people.