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Man is blind, but he has to see off Mzee to be at peace

By Judah Ben-Hur | February 11th 2020
Visually impaired Paul Kiprono (centre), 50, is led past the body of former President Daniel arap Moi at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi, yesterday. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

One man stood out in the long queue by thousands of Kenyans trooping to Parliament Buildings to pay their last respects to President Daniel arap Moi.

Paul Kiprono is visually challenged, but his determination to “see” the president was clear. Mr Kiprono, donning black shades, a cane in hand, tapped gently on the pavements, led by a younger man who held his left arm.

Yesterday Mr Kiprono told The Standard his was more than an urge to satisfy his eyes and more to do with demonstrating his love for the former president and thanking him for proving that those living with disability also matter.

“I remember Moi for commissioning the National Fund for the Disabled of Kenya. Through his efforts the disabled and orphans could enjoy freedom. Without him this organisation would not be there; and it is where I work,” Kiprono said yesterday.

Although Kiprono never saw President Moi alive, he said bowing before the president's body would be satisfactory.

Many elderly folk marching to Parliament Buildings yesterday echoed Kiprono's sentiments. They travelled from upcountry to see Moi in his death in remembrance of their experiences with the fallen hero.

They eulogised him as a man committed to bringing Kenyans together, one who loved and a champion for development. All mentioned the Nyayo free milk.

“I remember how composed he was during the burial of Oginga Odinga. Young men like James Orengo and Kijana Wamalwa were opposed to his being there, but he maintained his cool. If he was someone who gets angry, things would have been nasty,” said Bishop George Masikalani.

Yesterday marked the last day for public viewing of the former president's body. Those who saw his body yesterday said attending the funeral service today at Nyayo National Stadium was a must.

Moi will be buried tomorrow.

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