The country was yesterday united in grief as leaders and diplomats thronged Parliament to view the body of former President Moi which will lie in state for two more days.
Cabinet Secretaries, governors, legislators, opposition leaders, foreign envoys, judges and former leaders were among dignitaries that streamed in to view the body.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who arrived at 10am, led the procession for the leaders to view the body of Moi from 10.20 after he inspected the guard of honour mounted by Kenya Air Force soldiers of Laikipia Airbase base.
Uhuru described Moi as a “great son of Kenya, a cherished brother, a loving father, a mentor to many, a father of our nation and a champion of Pan-Africanism.”
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“President Moi was a mortal man, whose works and legacy are immortal. The Republic of Kenya, the community of East Africa and the great continent of Africa, bears his indelible mark, which, I am convinced, will endure long into the future, Uhuru said. After President Kenyatta and the Moi family led by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi had viewed the body, a retinue of leaders followed.
The leaders recounted the former President’s deeds. National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi who welcomed President Kenyatta to Parliament said the public viewing of Moi’s body will go on until Monday.
Muturi described Moi as an iconic and towering leader who led the country for 24 years.
The lying in state of Moi’s body will be the third after that of founding President Jomo Kenyatta in 1978 and Vice President Kijana Wamalwa in 2003.
The cortege will leave Lee Funeral Home at 7.15am today and tomorrow and be conveyed to Parliament Buildings for viewing, which ends at 5pm. Muturi eulogised Moi as an astute politician who always brimed with insights. He said Moi employed pragmatic nationalism to keep the country together for the 24 years that he led the nation.
Majority leader Aden Duale said the former President will be remembered for his efforts towards consolidating peace within the country and the Horn of Africa.
The “professor of politics”, Duale said, was an amiable great man full of cheer.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi described Moi as the father and grandfather of the nation who was a role model to many.
“Moi leaves an indelible print in the mastery of Kenyan political governance. He ensured harmony and patriotism in the country,” said Mudavadi.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi described Moi as a committed Christian and a peace loving Kenyan who did not tire preaching for unity among Kenyans. “His commitment to Christianity is something to emulate,” said Kingi.
Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen said Kenyans are mourning the loss of a great man. “Moi pushed his legacy in the things that he cared for, including peace and education,” said Murkomen.
Tinderet MP Julius Melly said Moi’s track record was worth emulating. “His contribution to education will forever be felt,” said Melly.
West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo said Moi started a 1500acre irrigation scheme in Weiwei that would change the lives of the locals.
“We have now revived the project and plan to even expand it. This among other things will continue to serve as his legacy in the county,” said Prof Lonyangapuo.
“Everywhere you go across the country, you will find his hand, he will remain in the hearts of many Kenyans,” said Nandi Governor Stephen Sang.
Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko said the county was proud of Moi’s legacy.
Former Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga said Moi’s death was a major blow to the nations. “In him we learn that leadership is about selflessness. He had passion for everything he did and through it, he change Kenya for the better,” Anyanga said.
He said President Moi’s death should unite Kenyans in the search for deeper meaning of nationhood.
Among those who viewed the body were four Ugandan MPs among other regional leaders.