The late President Daniel arap Moi has been remembered as a statesman, a pan-Africanist, and a liberator whose legacy resonated beyond borders in his quest to unite the continent.
During the second anniversary to mark his death at the family's Kabarak home in Nakuru County yesterday, leaders shared nostalgic memories of a true statesman who believed that education would liberate the nation from illiteracy and poverty.
He was lauded as a lover of peace, love, and unity, virtues that placed Kenya as the epitome of peace internationally.
President Uhuru Kenyatta remembered Moi as a pan-Africanist who vouched for peace, not only in the country, but also across borders.
"His passing left a void not only in the life of his family, but also in the life of our nation and the international community,” President Uhuru said in a speech read by ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.
"Mzee Moi was a pillar to his family, one of the founding fathers of our nation, a pan-Africanist, and a globally respected statesman," he added.
President Uhuru noted that even in his absence, the impact Moi had on the nation and the continent would endure for generations.
President Uhuru noted that during Moi's reign, the nation moved closer to the realisation of gender equity in educational opportunities in the country as a result of his setting up of various learning institutions for girls.
“Being a teacher by profession, he understood the critical place of education in the life of the nation. He called upon parents to increasingly educate their children without discrimination of gender,” Uhuru said.
While urging political leaders to distance themselves from divisive politics as the country heads into the August 9 polls, Uhuru said they should remember Mzee Moi’s mantra of "Siasa mbaya, maisha mbaya" (Bad political decisions ruin lives).
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi remembered his father as a patriarch who united the family and imparted virtues of peace and love.
“The pain never really goes away and we miss him. He was a friend of God and a man of God. May biblical blessings unfold as he would have liked. May we live up to the virtues he taught us,” Senator Gideon said.
Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka remembered Moi as a patriotic and futuristic statesman who had a vision for a united Africa.
"From the red rose label that he always wore, which I think symbolised the budding nature of a Kenyan Nation, he was a true futuristic nationalist. He always looked forward to a united African continent," said the former vice president.
Kalonzo noted that while Moi nurtured many political careers, he rose to become an African hero who played a critical role in vouching for peace in nations that experienced conflicts.
“The late South African President once thanked Moi for being a liberator, for the role he played in helping South Africa during the apartheid period," said Kalonzo.
"During the last moments I had with him, he told me to remember South Sudan in its struggles. In Gideon, I see most of his father’s attributes - the tradition of excellence, a mindful and honest nationalist,” he added.
Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo remembered the time he worked with Moi with nostalgia.
“He prioritized peace in the country. We will always cherish the stability, unity, and the good he did for us. He loved the children of Kenya because he knew they were the future,” Jirongo said.
Communications CS Joseph Mucheru remembered Moi for his interest in the youth and his vision for a great nation.
“When Huduma Number was being rolled out and registered, he was very inquisitive and kept asking the current number of youth in the country and what was in store for them. He was always mindful even in his old age. We will continue to harness and use that spirit through Senator Gideon,” Mucheru said.
Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua remembered Moi's warm personality and how he built legacies in the education sector to make Kenya among the topmost in the region.
“He was one person with a very warm personality away from presidential duties. He not only expanded secondary schools, but also institutions of higher learning. Were if not for the efforts he put in place during his reign, we would be in a crisis as a country at the moment,” Karua said.
Retired African Inland Church Presiding Bishop Dr Silas Yego remembered Moi as a statesman who inspired many, feared and served God and the country with diligence.
"It has been two years since we buried Mzee and this is the second time as a church we are remembering him. Memorial services at AIC are not practical but we started with President Moi. We are remembering a great man who inspired many, feared God, and served Him and this country with diligence,” Reverend Yego said.
He said through Moi’s virtues as a peace, love and unity ambassador, he built many churches and schools across the country.
“If this family walks in the way of their father, Moi, God promises he will establish you and make sure the family will be remembered in leadership,” Reverend Yego added.