• Moi, who died on Tuesday aged 95, led a harambee for the victims from Langoni area in the island on May 30, 1982, to rebuild their homes.
• Sh22 Million was contributed, with Moi donating Sh10 million.
For the over 4,000 Lamu residents who were affected by a fire that razed over 300 houses in March 1982, ex-president Daniel Moi's support was a massive reprieve.
Moi, who died on Tuesday aged 95, led a harambee for the victims from Langoni area in the island on May 30, 1982 to rebuild their homes.
Sh22 Million was contributed, with Moi donating Sh10 million.
That disaster and the fundraiser changed the face of Lamu as the new structures breathed a new life into the then tiny island.
Lamu political and religious leaders, elders and locals yesterday eulogised Moi as a philanthropic human being with a heart of gold.
Governor Fahim Twaha described Moi as the true embodiment of servant leadership.
“Those of us who were privileged to work under him definitely learnt something. He didn’t just talk about service he lived it,” Twaha said.
Lamu Woman Rep Ruweida Obbo said Moi would be remembered for his commitment to education and ‘Maziwa ya Nyayo’ that ensured schoolchildren learned on a full stomach.
Obbo challenged the current Kenyan leaders to borrow a leaf from Moi and introduce school feeding programmes to keep pupils in school.
“Moi walked the talk. He wanted children to stay in school and ensured the supply of the Nyayo milk. Those of us who went to school back then can attest that schools were flooded,” Obbo said.
Omar Bwana who was nominated to Parliament by Moi in 1979 said the ex-president paid more attention to the person and not his education when choosing leaders.
“Up to date, my nomination as MP still puzzles me. I never knew him and he never knew me. We weren’t even close but he still nominated me,” Bwana said.
Bwana said Moi valued inclusivity in governance.
The Lamu council of elders chairperson Sharif Salim said Moi shall remain the only head of state who ensured the region was well represented in government.
Salim said Moi appointed Lamu locals as ambassadors, nominated MPs and heads of parastatals.
“There were about three indigenous people of Lamu in government during Moi’s era. He ensured Lamu was up there just like other regions,” Salim said.
Elder Mohamed Mbwana said Moi will be remembered for restoring peace between Kenya and Somalia, enabling Lamu traders and fishermen to do businesses with across the border.
“I will remember the Nyayo philosophy which called for peace, love and unity,” Mbwana said.
Moi was an iconic leader who played a huge role in the unity of this country, he said.