REMEMBERING MOI

Ex-MP Jahazi recalls how Moi saved him from dreaded Special Branch

'Moi was not only a close friend but also a confidante'

In Summary

• Jahazi used to drive Moi around Mombasa town when most of his colleagues were out partying.

• He was arrested and detained for allegedly celebrating the attempted coup in the streets of Mombasa.

Former Mvita MP and assistant minister Mohammed Jahazi at Uhuru na Kazi building.
FOND MEMORIES Former Mvita MP and assistant minister Mohammed Jahazi at Uhuru na Kazi building.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI
Former Mvita MP and assistant minister Mohammed Jahazi at Uhuru na Kazi building.
REMEMBRANCE Former Mvita MP and assistant minister Mohammed Jahazi at Uhuru na Kazi building.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI
Former Mvita MP and Mombasa County Council of Elders chairman at Uhuru na Kazi building on Wednesday.
Former Mvita MP and Mombasa County Council of Elders chairman at Uhuru na Kazi building on Wednesday.

 

 

In death, people should focus on the good deeds of the departed and leave the rest to God, former assistant minister Mohammed Jahazi said on Friday.

This was in reference to his association with the late Daniel arap Moi.

“No one is flawless. You never know what relationship one cultivated with their maker in their quietude,” the first Mvita MP said. Mvita was previously Mombasa Central.

Jahazi recalled with nostalgia his time with the departed former President. He used to drive Moi around Mombasa town when most of his colleagues were out partying.

“He used to come down to Mombasa with President Jomo Kenyatta and he would stay at Oceanic Hotel,” Jahazi said at Mombasa Council of Elders office at Uhuru na Kazi building. He is the association's chair.

“He used to call me there and since he was not a party animal, he asked me to show him around Mombasa town. I always drove him around in my car.” 

To Jahazi, Moi was not only a close friend but also a confidante. He, however, will never forget 1982, the year of the attempted coup.

He was arrested by the dreaded Special Branch and detained for allegedly celebrating the attempted coup in the streets of Mombasa as early as 8am on August 1.

“I was detained at the Central Police Station for two days. I have never seen more scary people in my life than the people who were interrogating me,” Jahazi sid.

“They (Special Branch) said they had information that I had been celebrating in the streets as early as 8am. But I only learnt of the attempted coup at 10am.” 

To Moi, it was not possible that a friend could celebrate at his hour of need. He sent powerful cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott (Total Man) to inquire from Jahazi what really happened.

He ordered the release of the MP so that he could personally question him.

“One day, Biwott called and asked me to meet him at the Presidential Pavilion of the Mombasa ASK Showground in Mkomani. He said Mzee wanted to hear from my own mouth if what he had heard was true.” 

Jahazi was taken to Moi who looked him straight in the eye and asked him, “Hii maneno naskia ni kweli? (Is what I’m hearing true?)”

“I explained myself and he said I should not be disturbed again. If it were another person, I would be no more. He trusted me. That is loyalty,” he said.

Jahazi said he will forever be grateful to Moi for that. However, they drifted apart after Moi surrounded himself with other friends. "But he always sought me out whenever he was in Mombasa."

The 86-year-old former legislator said: “I never missed any of his harambees in Coast.