Time for reflection as President Moi is laid to rest
Wednesday, February 12th, 2020
Today, retired President Daniel arap Moi, who passed on a week ago, will be laid to rest today.
It is the culmination of week-long national mourning characterised by outpouring of emotions, expression of love and honour for the man who bestrode the political landscape like a colossus for decades.
Many Kenyans—from the country’s top leadership led by his political protégé President Uhuru Kenyatta, the clergy and ordinary citizens—whose lives Moi touched in diverse ways have eulogised him as a nationalist, freedom fighter, pan Africanist, visionary, educationist, humanist and God-fearing. The global community, too, had its say about what he meant to them.
And yet as Moi was mourned by those who adored him, there are many for whom his passing, was a reminder of the dark chapter of the country during the single party era of political intolerance and repression.
But no matter how history judges Moi’s 24-year reign, there is one chapter that will stand out— the unity of the country and for keeping the country, which he often referred to as an island of peace in a sea of turmoil, peaceful.
Moi will also be remembered for mid-wifing a peaceful transition when his term ended in 2002.
Moi’s passing comes at a time when Kenya is at a socio-political and economic crossroads.
It a time when country is in the middle of an intense debate about rebooting its governance structures.
The discussion is encapsulated in the Building Bridges Initiative, which could falter unless the political leadership stops hijacking it for its 2022 election succession strategies.
As the country gets to the end of an era, especially for the post-independence leadership, it is critical to reflect on the ideals that our founding fathers stood for as they took the reigns of power to confront the challenges of poverty, illiteracy and disease that faced the young nation.
Unfortunately, some of these ideals, founded on patriotism, have eluded us over the years.
This is why the country’s current and future political elite must embrace a paradigm shift and serve the public with true patriotism and selflessness.
They must preach the love, unity and peace that Moi so fervently preached. They must place Kenya beyond self. This will be the best way to remember and celebrate Moi.
Fare Thee Well, Daniel arap Moi.