FINAL BOW

'It's Arap': From presidential proclamation to burial, Moi's final journey

From the time he died, the military took over his body and his funeral arrangements.

In Summary

• State funerals usually include pomp and ceremony as well as religious activities and elements of military tradition. The public is usually involved in state burials.

• Jomo Kenyatta was accorded the first state funeral on August 31, 1978. His body lay in state for 10 days with the national mourning period lasting 30 days.

The cortege of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi when it arrived at Kabarak in Nakuru County ahead of the State burial service of the former Kenyan leader.
The cortege of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi when it arrived at Kabarak in Nakuru County ahead of the State burial service of the former Kenyan leader.
Image: PSCU

Since the death of former president Daniel Moi on February 4, Kenyans and the world have witnessed a rare spectacle of all the fanfare marking the state funeral.

PROCLAMATION

On the morning of February 4, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the death of Moi and declared a period of national mourning.

 
 

He also said Moi would receive a state funeral.

The cortege of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi when it arrived at Kabarak in Nakuru County ahead of the State burial service of the former Kenyan leader.
The cortege of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi when it arrived at Kabarak in Nakuru County ahead of the State burial service of the former Kenyan leader.
Image: PSCU

State funerals usually include pomp and ceremony as well as religious activities and elements of military tradition. The public is usually involved in state burials.

The cortege of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi when it arrived at Kabarak in Nakuru County ahead of the State burial service of the former Kenyan leader.
The cortege of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi when it arrived at Kabarak in Nakuru County ahead of the State burial service of the former Kenyan leader.
Image: PSCU

The country's founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was accorded the first state funeral on August 31, 1978.

His body lay in state for 10 days with the national mourning period lasting 30 days.

BREAKING THE NEWS

From the time he died, the military took over his body and his funeral arrangements. The family was only given a few minutes to address the media about his death.

Baringo senator Gideon Moi mourning his father at Lee Funeral Home./EZEKIEL AMING'A
Baringo senator Gideon Moi mourning his father at Lee Funeral Home./EZEKIEL AMING'A

"He passed away peacefully, I was by his side and as a family, we have accepted and mine is just to give my heartfelt gratitude to all Kenyans and non-Kenyans for the prayers and support they have given to Mzee and our family. Thank you all and God bless you all,” Gideon Moi said.

 

By 10:30 am: Moi’s family retreated to his home in Kabarnet Gardens in Nairobi as State announced it was handling the funeral arrangements.

TRUE AGE?

Moi's former press secretary Lee Njiru told the media early Tuesday, that Moi was not 96 years as Kenyans thought but 103 years.

"Let me clarify that mzee Moi was ... about 102 or 103 years. He started walking using a walking stick. Then a wheelchair. I have seen a steady decline in his health since then," Njiru said.

"His decline was very worrying. He has been hospitalized since October 10th 2019 and has never left the hospital."

The 95-year-old was loved and loathed in equal measure; his supporters will mourn him as a patriot but others will choose to remember him as a brutal dictator.

LEE FUNERAL PARLOUR

When Moi's body arrived at Lee funeral home, there was heavy security as senior government officials thronged the Lee Funeral Home and took over operations.

Moi's body was received at the Lee Funeral Home some minutes after 8.00 am.

Among those who arrived first at the Lee Funeral Home included the Chief of General Mwathethe, Internal Security CS Fred Matiang'i, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai among others.

LIES IN STATE

On Saturday, Moi's body left the Lee Funeral Home for Parliament Buildings ahead of the public viewing.

The casket carrying Mzee Moi draped with Kenya's flag./EZEKIEL AMINGA
The casket carrying Mzee Moi draped with Kenya's flag./EZEKIEL AMINGA

The military truck carrying the body made its way from the Lee Funeral Home through Valley Road escorted in a military convoy.

The casket was draped with the Kenyan flag. Military officers also walked side by side as motorbikes were seen accompanying them including the family members.

KDF soldiers lined up along the entire route to Parliament Building as the casket was wheeled by a carriage as happened with founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1978.

The casket, which was draped with the Kenyan flag left the parlour at 7:15 am for parliament buildings.

/EZEKIEL AMING'A
/EZEKIEL AMING'A

This practice is used by the military to affirm that the deceased is mourned by the nation and appreciated by the state.

DIFFERENT SUITS

The body was taken for public viewing but the deceased wore different suits from that of day one.

Military honours./EZEKIEL AMINGA
Military honours./EZEKIEL AMINGA

As Kenyans prepared to view his body for the first time in Parliament on Saturday, Moi wore a grey suit, brown shoes, white shirt and a colorful tie.

On the second day, Moi who was sleeping peacefully at Parliament buildings, wore new black suit, white shirt with red neck tie and black shoes.

Mzee Moi in different suits./THE STAR
Mzee Moi in different suits./THE STAR

GRIEF, SHOCK

Some Kenyans could not hold back tears and were overcome by grief and shock after viewing the body of former President Daniel Moi outside Parliament Buildings on the third day he lay in state.

/EZEKIEL AMINGA
/EZEKIEL AMINGA
Image: A mourner is overcome with grief after viewing former President Daniel Moi's body at Parliament Buildings.

Some wailed uncontrollably while others fainted after queuing to view Mzee Moi's body on the last day of public viewing.

It took the intervention of officials from St John Ambulance to help those who were engulfed in shock.

Woman mourning Mzee Moi./ Ezekiel Aming'a
Woman mourning Mzee Moi./ Ezekiel Aming'a

MARCHING TO NYAYO

Moi's casket was chauffeured on a hearse by army officers under escort of seven military police outriders through the main entry to the Nairobi State House compound.

The cortege carrying the remains of former President Daniel Moi at the Nyayo Stadium on February 11, 2020.
The cortege carrying the remains of former President Daniel Moi at the Nyayo Stadium on February 11, 2020.
Image: PSCU

On departure from State House, the casket was borne on a gun carriage flying both a miniature national flag and Moi’s presidential standard with military formations matching behind.

The cortege carrying the remains of former President Daniel Moi at Parliament Buildings.
The cortege carrying the remains of former President Daniel Moi at Parliament Buildings.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

By 6am, Uhuru Highway was a sea of blue. Officers from the Kenya Police had lined up from the city centre to Nyayo National Stadium where the funeral service of Moi was to be conducted.

Police officers, National Youth Service personnel, private security guards, presidential security and soldiers were strategically placed in and outside the stadium to control the crowd that slowly streamed into the facility after mandatory security checks.

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived at Nyayo Stadium at 10.15am donned in a fresh flower lapel on his suit, synonymous with Mzee Moi during his days in power.

Casket leaving Lee funeral home./REUTERS
Casket leaving Lee funeral home./REUTERS

LAST JOURNEY

Dignitaries thronged Kabarak for the final rites of Mzee Moi.

But Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju did not make it to the venue. He was involved in a road accident in Nakuru.

Jubilee party SG Raphael Tuju involved in an accident with a matatu./GEORGE MUGO
Jubilee party SG Raphael Tuju involved in an accident with a matatu./GEORGE MUGO

Tuju's vehicle hit a matatu at Magina area on the Nakuru-Nairobi highway and was admitted at Kijabe Hospital before being airlifted.

He complained of chest pains before being airlifted to Nairobi in a police helicopter.

Tuju was in the car with his driver and bodyguard.

DIGNITARIES ARRIVE

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived on Wednesday at exactly 10.00 am at Kabarak University Grounds.

President Uhuru Kenyatta rriving at Kabarak./ANDREW KASUKU
President Uhuru Kenyatta rriving at Kabarak./ANDREW KASUKU

Kabarak University is packed with tens of thousands of other Kenyans who have come to pay their final respect to Mzee Moi.

/ANDREW KASUKU
/ANDREW KASUKU

ODM party leader Raila Odinga arrived minutes later.