News February 04, 2020 at 07:00 am

Longest-serving Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi dies at age 95

Nii Ntreh February 04, 2020 at 07:00 am

February 04, 2020 at 07:00 am | News

Daniel arap Moi was the president of Kenya between 1978 and 2002. Photo Credit: TheSouthAfrican.com

Daniel arap Moi, Kenya’s longest-serving leader, has died aged 95 after he had been hospitalized for about a month.

Moi presided over a one-party state between 1978 and 1991 only allowing multi-party democracy following sustained pressure from within his country and from Western donors.

Announcing his death on Tuesday morning, President Uhuru Kenyatta described Moi as “a great African statesman”.

President Kenyatta has declared a period of national mourning on dates yet to be decided.

During a 24-year reign, Moi initially enjoyed a lot of support from Kenyans having taken over from the independence hero, Jomo Kenyatta.

Speaking to Face2faceAfrica, journalist Nduta Waweru recounted Moi’s rise to power.

“After the death of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1978, he was the vice president so he assumed power for 90 days before the election that also saw him win the 1979 election,” said Gweru.

When a group of Kenyatta loyalists tried to depose Moi in a coup in 1982, the latter turned over the proverbial new leaf.

“He made sure we understood who was in charge. The news bulletins always started with what he did on the day. He was not a tolerant leader,” said historian Lydia Muthuma to Al-Jazeera.

In the coming days, Kenyans will reminisce on how Moi’s legacy has shaped the country since 2002.

“There are mixed reactions because his tenure was complicated. He established the infamous Nyayo and Nyati Houses chambers of torture, he oversaw a number of gross human rights violations such as massacres including the Wagalla and Garissa massacre, graft cases and perpetuated divisive tribal politics.

“On the other hand, he is seen as a person who oversaw a stable country and the fact that he handed over power peacefully in 2002 painted him in a positive light in many people’s eyes,” added Waweru.

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