Moi’s ex-farm manager, student leader recall fond memories with African icon
The late retired president Daniel Arap Moi was a man that was adored and feared in equal measures by those who knew and interacted with him.
Shadrack Kiptugen, a former farm manager at his Kabarak home from 1986 to 1995 before joining the political world says Moi was a thorough man who went through all the farms' details when he visited.
“Mzee was a gentleman that never ignored anyone. He would visit his farm and would diligently go through all the records. He was so keen to even compare records from his last visit just to ensure that you were doing the right thing. For you to work for him you had to be good at it or you would be embarrassed when he questioned your decisions,” recalled Kiptugen.
According to Kiptugen, the former president was a man who enjoyed rewarding those who were loyal to him so when Kiptugen decided to tie the knot in 1993, the former president sponsored his wedding.
“If you are loyal to him he would reward you with anything. I remember the day I told him that I was going to Marakwet for my wedding, he told me to do it in Nakuru and gave me money for the wedding,” says Kiptugen.
Kiptugen recalls Moi being a funny man when away from the limelight and the pressures that came with his presidency.
According to him, he enjoyed engaging the people in his Kabarak farm without caring about money and status.
And although he was known for his love for natural food, Kiptugen says the former President loved eating goat. He could eat it every time he visited the farm.
It is no different for Kevin Karuga, former student leader at Kabarak University.
He says what stood out for him was his humility and fear of the Lord. Every time we met he would say in everything I do I should fear the Lord and maintain discipline.
“My first encounter with him was after I had made what seem to have been an impressive speech at the Kabarak Chapel because Moi asked the vice-chancellor to take me to his house and he commended me saying he saw a lot of leadership capabilities in me, and thereafter we could meet on regular basis,” he recalls.
He recalls him as a funny man that loved cracking jokes about campus relationships.
“The first time we sat alone together, I was very intimated. I could not look into his eyes because his eyes and demeanor allure power, but he ensured he made the atmosphere very calm. Although he was intimidating, he loved cracking jokes about campus dating. Not forgetting that he was a generous man that cleared a lot of school fees for needy students at the university. He actually paid for my school fees throughout my years, an act of generosity that stood out tremendously for me,” says karuga.