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Uhuru Kenyatta escaped Moi's wrath by avoiding him for a week

By Francis Ngige | February 13th 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta (center), ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi (second right), Deputy President William Ruto (left), Baringo senator Gideon Moi (right) with other leaders. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday recounted how he was forced to go into hiding to escape President Daniel Moi's wrath when he served in his government.

While eulogising Moi in Kabarak, Mr Kenyatta took his cue from leaders who described the former head of State as a firm president.

He recalled an incident when the president was very annoyed about something he had done.

“Sally (Kosgei) has talked about Mzee being soft on women; for me I tasted the wrath of the former president," Uhuru said, referring to a tribute from Moi's former Head of Public Service.

"One time, a livid Moi called me at 5am and since I knew what I had done the previous day, I declined to pick and instructed my wife to pick the call."

As Mrs Kenyatta joined other mourners in laughter, Uhuru continued: “After five minutes he called again and I had no choice but to pick. He was really angry, he spoke to me for a like 10 minutes and banged the phone on me."

He said Moi was still not done with him as he called again and continued ranting until he (Uhuru) was forced to profusely apologise for his misdeeds.

“To my surprise, he called again. This time he said he wanted me in Kabarak within one hour. I couldn’t make it since I was not near Nakuru. I was forced to go underground for a week to let things cool down. Afterwards we met and made up. That was Moi. A very forgiving person,” the president said.

In honour of Moi, Uhuru announced the government would assist in the completion of a referral hospital at Kabarak that he had wanted built. The president said the State would construct a solar-power generation plant in Kabarak whose proceeds would go towards funding the construction of the hospital.

“For what Mzee Moi did, we are honoured to complete this project. The funds realised from the generation of the power will be used to finish the hospital project,” Uhuru said.

He then continued recounting his interactions with the former president, with some anecdotes sending mourners into prolonged laughter.

Apart from paying tribute to the Moi family in his capacity as president, Uhuru said he was also representing the greater Kenyatta family at the funeral.

Also present at the burial were Deputy President William Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga, former vice presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi, Chief Justice David Maraga, Speaker of the Senate Ken Lusaka and his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi.

Uhuru said the Kenyatta family was indebted to the Moi family, and both families have enjoyed close ties for more than half a century. He said when his father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died, Moi became his family's father figure.

“I’m saying goodbye to a man I regarded as a father both politically and in a family way," the president said.

"Our two families enjoy close ties and even with his departure, our friendship will continue. I learnt my politics from him."


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