• Kibor had a close relationship with Moi but almost ruined it when he asked Moi to name a successor in 1995. Moi left office in 2002.
• Moi was enraged and so was Kanu, Kibor was ostracised, but they finally reconciled.
Mzee Jackson Kibor, 86, is one of the elders in Rift Valley who was a Kanu official who and shared a close relationship with retired President Moi for many years.
However, Kibor almost ruined the relationship when — against the expectations of everyone in 1995 — while speaking at Kesses market in Uasin Gishu he challenged Moi to name his successor.
Moi served until 2002 when he was succeeded by Mwai Kibaki.
Everyone was shocked. Moi was still in power and no one would dare imagine his exit at the time.
Kibor had brushed Moi and the Kanu regime the wrong way, to put it mildly, and he was widely condemned.
Moi and Kanu leaders denounced Kibor, terming his talk of succession as reckless. It took the intervention other leaders, including former nominated MPs Mark Too and Ezekiel Bargetuny to reconcile them.
Yesterday Kibor recalled his relationship with Moi and says he asked the former head of state to name a successor because he (Kibor) and others in Kanu were worried if it would be possible to get another leader like Moi.
“I asked him about his successor because we had been with Moi for a long time and we knew he was a very wise, strong and dedicated leader. We didn't see anyone else who matched his qualities. I wanted him to tell us his own choice of a successor," Kibor told the Star in Eldoret.
Kibor was then serving as an influential Kanu chairman in Uasin Gishu county where his remarks resulted in his physical removal from the party, though his position was unchanged.
KIbor looks back and says Moi was a great leader right from the time he served as Vice President under JomoKenyatta and later when he became President at the Jomo's death.
“Moi so loyal to Kenyatta and worked very hard with dedication until on many occasions Kenyatta would take a rest to let Moi run the show," he said..
Kibor says Moi’’s leadership qualities were inborn and could not have been attained through education.
“He was so wise and spoke fluent English yet he never went to school to higher levels. He was born a leader and none who attained higher education could match him," he said.
Moi was respected and feared by all Kenyans regardless of their tribes, he said, adding that Moi always mingled and ate with all kinds of people including elders, women and youth.
“We even realized that he liked ugali with milk which he often shared with us whenever we visited him at Kabarak," Kibor said.
“We just pray for his soul and we must then move on because that's life," Kibor said.
Governor Alex Tolgos of Elgeyo Marakwet also issued a statement on the death of Moi. He recalled how Moi started his public life serving as a teacher at Tambach before he moved to higher leadership.
“In Rift Valley, we consider him a patriarch because he modelled many facets of our society in terms of selfless leadership, Christianity, family values, education among others," Tolgos said.
He said Moi mentored many leaders regardless of their station in life. “He minded the general welfare of Kenyans including children to whom he gave free school milk," the governor said. .
Tolgos said that on his last visit to Elgeyo Marakwet, Moi reminded them that leadership was all about minding the next and future generations.
“He told us to build schools for the next generations," Tolgos said.
(Edited by V. Graham)