Imperfect Moi a good leader — Nairobi MCAs

Nairobi MCAs hold a special sitting to pay tribute former President Daniel Moi

In Summary

• The second president of Kenya died last week at Nairobi Hospital.

• President Kenyatta shold emulate "Moi slaps" when he is disrespected by ministers.  

Former President Daniel arap Moi.
Former President Daniel arap Moi.

The Nairobi County Assembly has eulogised former President Daniel  Moi as a man of remarkable character with a controversial leadership who was strict, tolerant and merciful.

In a special sitting on Monday, chaired by Deputy Speaker John Kamangu, the MCAs paid tributes to Moi, each sharing their memories of Kenya's second President.

Moi died last week at Nairobi hospital.

Mzee Moi not a perfect leader but we can learn to forgive as he did in 2002. Most African dictators die in power but Moi saw the signs early and threw in the towel to pave way for a new era of leadership.
Minority leader David Mberia 

Majority leader Charles Thuo remembered Moi for his contribution to the 8-4-4 education system which sought to give Kenyans practical skills. He as also praised for advancing girls' education.

His minority counterpart David Mberia said Moi’s leadership was not perfect but people can learn from how he sought forgiveness when he was leaving office in 2002.

“Mzee Moi was not a perfect leader but we can only learn to forgive the way he did in 2002. Most dictators in Africa die in power but Moi saw the signs early and threw in the towel to pave way for a new era of leadership,” he said.

Majority Whip June Ndegwa urged Kenyans to  revisit the issues the former president stressed.

“Moi emphasized on mmomonyoko wa udongo (soil erosion) and the need to plant trees. Now we are being faced by harsh climatic conditions as a result of cutting down trees despite afforestation being talked about,” she said.

Brightening the somber mood, Ndegwa highlighted that the "Moi slaps" should be emulated by the President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Mzee was very strict in discipline and once he slapped a minister and sacked him on the spot. Nowadays we see leaders abusing and disrespecting the President and I think they too should be slapped several times," Ndegwa said.

Minority Chief Whip Peter Imwatok asked the house to giving current leaders the credit they deserve and celebrate them when they are still alive.

“Let us start the norm of celebrating leaders when they are still alive not when they are breathless and cannot see and hear how much they had an impact on the society,” he said.

Deputy Majority leader Millicent Mugadi urged current leaders to reflect on their legacy.

“As leaders, we should leave a legacy so that when Kenyans look back, they have positive memories that will linger in their minds,” she said.

“President Moi was not perfect but he was human and we are all human and the only way we can move forward is when we forgive,” she added.

Deputy Minority Whip Moses Ogeto requested the ward reps to stop bad politics and instead put first the welfare of Nairobi residents.


Moi brought a lot of love through fear, and thus it earned him respect.
Nominated MCA Lea Naikane 

"Mzee Moi used to insist that siasa mbaya maisha mbaya (bad politics, bad life), so as legislators let us refrain from petty politics and focus on service delivery,” he stated.

Ngara ward rep Chege Mwaura recognised how Moi drew parallel lines with some of the current politicians who are in leadership today.

He paid tribute stating that Moi as a tolerant leader who faced a lot of criticism in his era of leadership but continued with his duties.

“Today we have bootlickers, sycophants and realists. Among the three categories, we have people who will always stand with the truth and my hope is that the leadership we have is cognizant of that,’ he said.

Nominated MCA Leah Naikane said "Moi brought a lot of love through fear, thus it earned him respect.

“I’m a product of Moi’s effort in educating the girl child as I managed to go through school because of the school bursaries from Moi and his government. He has left a good legacy and as leaders we should fill in the gap he has left to continue educating the girl child,” she said.

In addition, the house also adjusted the assembly calendar and moved the re-opening date from February 11 to next week on February 18.

(Edited by V. Graham)