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Mzee’s last journey will be on a gun carriage along city streets

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua (right) flanked by Chief of Defense Forces Samson Mwathethe (2nd right), DCDF Robert Mwathethe Kibochi (2nd left), Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai (left) addressing the media outside Harambee house, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina/Standard]

Former President Daniel arap Moi’s final journey begins tomorrow morning.

The casket with his body will be draped with the national flag and will be drawn by a gun carriage in a procession to Parliament Buildings.

Mzee Moi, who served as president for 24 years, died on Tuesday aged 95.

Military personnel in red ceremonial gear will escort the cortege from Nairobi’s Lee Funeral home at 8.05am along Valley Road, Kenyatta Avenue, Parliament Way and pass between a military guard of honour mounted on Parliament Road into Parliament.

His body shall lie in state in Parliament for three days for public viewing, with President Uhuru Kenyatta leading the solemn occasion tomorrow at 10.15 am.

Memorial service

President Kenyatta, who is in the US, is expected to fly back to the country tonight to hold a Cabinet meeting tomorrow.

He is expected to hold another meeting with security chiefs and other top government officials before proceeding to pay his last respects to the man who put him on the path to the presidency.

An inter-denominational national memorial service led by the African Inland Church (AIC) will be held on Tuesday, February 11, at Nyayo Stadium. The former president will be buried on Wednesday, February 12, at his Kabarak home.

The former head of State will be accorded full military ceremonial honours, which include a 19-gun salute and martial music during the funeral procession.

The last such ceremony was held for Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, who died in office in 1978 after which Moi, his then vice president, became president.

The National Assembly has been called for a special sitting on Monday to alter its calendar to allow members to attend the funeral service and burial.

The House was to reopen on Tuesday after the December recess, but MPs are expected to change the resumption date to February 13.

Yesterday, Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua announced that Tuesday, February 11, will be public holiday in honour of Moi.

Mr Kinyua, who is the head of a steering committee co-ordinating all the State ceremonies leading up to Moi’s funeral, said preparations for the burial are complete.

 

“In addition to other ways of remembering and honouring Mzee Moi, we encourage each and every Kenyan to plant a tree in his memory or undertake an act of benevolence for the most needy members of our society,” he said.

All State officials listed to attend have been notified to be in the precincts of Parliament tomorrow by 9.45am before the president’s arrival.

“Members of the public will view the body at Parliament Buildings. We have made arrangements with security teams to allow as many people as possible, while making sure that we avoid any commotion,” said Kinyua.

Foreign governments

He said the government is still receiving messages of condolences from foreign governments, and was compiling a list of heads of state and government, and other foreign dignitaries who have indicated that they shall attend the memorial service.

All Kenyans have been invited to participate in the scheduled ceremonies. Condolence books are open at Harambee House, Supreme Court buildings, Parliament, all regional commissioners’ offices, all county commissioners’ offices and in all the country’s high commissions, embassies and missions abroad.

According to Kinyua, all arms of government and all State officials are expected to participate in the scheduled ceremonies.

“These events will be broadcast live by all our national television and radio stations to ensure that Kenyans in every part of the republic take part in giving Mzee Moi a befitting send-off,” he said.

Live broadcast screens will be mounted in Nakuru, Sacho, Ravine and Kabarnet.