Retired President Mwai Kibaki has described former President Daniel Moi’s decision to readily hand over power to him as a hallmark of statesmanship.
Kibaki – who succeeded Moi after Narc defeated Kanu in 2002 General Election – showered the second President with accolades while recalling his personal engagements with him in Public Service, including when he served as his vice president.
“President Moi’s abiding charisma was best exhibited in 2002 when he oversaw an unprecedented smooth transition of power as he proceeded to his retirement,” said Kibaki.
“His willingness to readily usher the next Head of State remains a badge of honour on his leadership as well as statesmanship credentials,” added Kibaki.
Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi read Kibaki’s tribute during the State memorial service for the fallen icon at Nyayo Stadium attended by thousands of Kenyans and beamed live on various TV stations.
Kibaki noted how the former president managed to steer the country at a time other African nations were falling into political abyss. He recalled Moi’s legendary ability to thwart crises by asserting State authority.
“I have known Mzee Moi for decades and have worked with him for years. I therefore have personal and nostalgic memories of Mzee Moi accruing from shared national platforms and responsibilities,” Kibaki told mourners.
He added, “Over time, I have had a chance to appreciate the best of Mzee Moi’s statesmanship and skillfulness in the conduct of statecraft during the blissful and tumultuous moments that Kenya has traversed.”
Kibaki talked about when Moi joined the Legislative Council of Kenya (LegCo) to represent Rift Valley, and recalled his role in the formation of the Kenya African Democratic Union (Kadu).
Kibaki also remembered Moi for his role in ensuring the country transitioned from one party state to a multiparty democracy in 1992.
“Clearly, the return of multipartyism has opened up Kenya’s democratic space in ways hitherto unimagined,” said Kibaki.
He talked about how Moi dedicated his life to the service of the nation even after he had retired.
“Daniel arap Moi’s legacy is deeply etched in the unfolding memoir of our nation. His contribution to the Kenya we all desire is also indelibly tattooed in the annals of our national history.”
The retired President condoled with the family and prayed for God to grant the family the fortitude to endure the loss and the courage to face the future.
Kibaki was among thousands of Kenyans who viewed the remains of the late President during the three-day period at Parliament Buildings.