Former president was wise counsellor, says grandson
Irene Githinji and Roy Lumbe
Retired President Daniel arap Moi’s grandchildren yesterday mourned him as a true statesman, wise counsellor and a believer in their abilities, adding that they could not have been more privileged than having him as a grandfather.
Klint Kiprono Moi had nothing but glowing memories of the life and times he spent with his grandfather, saying holidays for the Moi family will never be the same again.
He could not forget when he was younger and the name ‘Moi’ was synonymous with the Presidency.
“Today I find myself in a state of mixed emotions as I pay tribute to my late grandfather. He was a man of such great stature that the name Moi was once synonymous with President.
When I was younger a common joke was ‘Moi wa Uganda ni nani?’ (who is the Ugandan President),” recounted Kiprono.
Kiprono is the son of Mzee Moi’s eldest son, the late Jonathan Moi and first grandson of the former President.
“I am happy in faith that you are now in heaven with Christ Jesus and also with our late grandmother Lena, our late father Jonathan and late cousin Kiprono.
I believe you are singing your favourite hymn while watching over us… I will miss you grandfather, travel well. We love you,” mourned Kiprono.
The grandson added that Moi was and remains a statesman and will remain a dutiful son of Baringo.
He was grateful to the people of Baringo for gifting Mzee Moi to his family and to the world.
Kiprono said his grandfather understood that education is a great equaliser and wielded it as a powerful tool to empower Kenyans.
Having had to make long treks from Sacho to Kapsabet to get an education, Kiprono said, Mzee Moi made it his personal goal to set up as many schools as possible and encouraged school attendance through such initiatives as the famous Maziwa ya Nyayo programme.
“His legendary spirit of harambee encouraged sprouting of several institutions of learning as well as fostering unity amongst communities,” he said.
Kiprono said Mzee Moi was many things to people - a leader, environmentalist, mentor, educationist and for those who found themselves on the wrong side of his favour, a formidable enemy.
“To me he was simply a grandfather…I am immensely privileged and grateful to God, to be the late President Moi’s first grandchild and was thus lucky to grow under the tutelage of one of Africa’s greatest leaders...” he said.
“For us, his grandchildren, he instilled in us the importance of having ambition, focus, humility and above all the love of Christ who is the purveyor of all wisdom,” he added.
Another grandchild, Cherobon Moi, recounted the last time she was with Moi and he said: “Cherobon, always remember to put God first and do not take everything you have for granted.”
At the same time, Rongai MP Raymond Moi, who read the eulogy on behalf of his siblings, termed the former president as a dedicated father, an extraordinary man, a role model and a mentor.
Skimming through Moi’s life from his family and education to his entrance to politics in a moving eulogy, Raymond recounted his father’s journey from his private life to being President.
“President Moi had a rich history and he is to be remembered for a long time for his journey in education and leadership qualities,” said Raymond.
Raymond said Moi is celebrated for keeping Kenya together at a time the African continent was in turmoil and handing over power when it was fashionable to hold onto it.
He caused a light moment after he said the family has no idea how many great-grandchildren the late President has, adding that what he had are eight children and 21 grandchildren.
According to him, no one has any idea how many great-grandchildren Moi has.
“Someone puts a figure here for his great-grandchildren but I don’t want to say this figure because who knows about great-grandchildren?” posed Raymond.