Military did Kenya proud at President Daniel arap Moi Moi burial

Friday, February 14th, 2020 00:00 | By
The army receives the casket bearing the remains of Moi. Photo/PD/PSCU

The Kenyan military are the unsung heroes of the Wednesday burial of retired President Daniel arap Moi.

On learning about the former Head of State’s demise, President Uhuru Kenyatta proclaimed that Moi be accorded a State funeral with full military and civilian honours.

A State funeral is a public ceremony observing strict rules of protocol held to honour heads of state or other people of national significance.

Kenya witnessed its first State funeral in 1978 following the death of founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. His body lay in state for 10 days with thousands of people viewing it at the State House.

On the day of his burial, the casket was wheeled from State House through the streets of Nairobi by the same gun carriage used at the 1965 funeral of Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War II Prime Minister.

This, perhaps explains the magnitude of the responsibility and confidence bestowed on the military by the President following his proclamation.

“Under the authority vested in me as the President of the Republic of Kenya and the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, do hereby order and direct that the Late Daniel Toroitich arap Moi shall be accorded a State Funeral, with all appropriate Civilian and Full Military Honours being rendered and observed,” said.

And do doubt, members of the Kenya Defence Forces drawn from its three formations put their best foot forward to give a grand farewell to a man who was their former Commander-in-Chief.

Military men and women not only secured Moi’s body at the Lee Funeral Home, Nairobi, but oversaw the gruelling and energy-sapping three-day public viewing at Parliament Buildings with admirable precision.

For the past week, Kenyans have been glued to their TVs watching the colourful military farewell of their former Head of State with his body being transported in a gun-carriage guarded by senior officers. 

The Tuesday March from State House to Nyayo Stadium—about five kilometres—was particularly spectacular for its discipline and exactitude.

Indeed, the military got accolades during the burial ceremony with leaders celebrating their discipline and role in peace keeping in conflict areas.

They are currently in war-torn Somalia battling the al Shabaab militia that poses a security threat in the region.

Certainly, our military rose to the occasion on the Moi assignment. We salute them.

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