KWAHERI IN STYLE

Military's final respect to Moi at Kabarak University ground

The body arrived home in a military chopper

In Summary

• At exactly 9.21am, a military platoon wheeled the body to Kabarak University grounds where dignitaries and the public were already settled.

• The casket, draped in the national flag, was removed from the vehicle as Uhuru and the military honoured the former President.

The military chopper with the remains of retired President Daniel arap Moi touched ground at 9am on Wednesday from Wilson Airport, Nairobi.

The soldiers he commanded for 24 years were waiting at his Kabarak home airstrip.

Just like his days in power, Moi was the main item in the local media, but this time, it was the last. 

The last time he was flown home in a military chopper was on the day he handed over to Mwai Kibaki on December 31, 2002. He was then alive. His close allies like Sally Kosgei were left behind in tears.

Yesterday, like in December 2002, Moi was flown in the same style – leaving his loyal backers in tears.

The gun carriage that has been moving his casket in the last few days as Kenyans paid him their last respect, had arrived at Kabarak on Tuesday, tyres well-polished for Kenya's second president's final journey.

At 9.21am, a military platoon wheeled the body to Kabarak University grounds where dignitaries and about 30,000 members of the public were settled.

The casket remained on the open military vehicle until the arrival of President Uhuru Kenyatta in a convoy 35 minutes later.

The casket, draped in the national flag, was removed from the vehicle as President Kenyatta and the military honoured the former President.

Deputy President William Ruto, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, and the Moi family followed the President and the military as the body was moved to the dais for the burial service to begin.

“If he called me Daktari I knew I was okay…if he called me Sally I knew I was fine but if he received me saying ‘child’ in his softest voice, I knew I was in trouble," said Sally Kosgei in tribute to the departed president.

She had served him as permanent secretary and ambassador among other senior positions.

The most powerful woman in Moi's last cabinet, recounted how he encouraged her to further her education up to PhD level as a young girl fresh from college. 

COTU boss Francis Atwoli said Moi valued workers and took care of their rights throughout his era.

The former president was the third to be accorded full military honours in a state funeral after the founding president Jomo Kenyatta in 1978 and former vice-president Michael Kijana Wamalwa in 2003.

Moi's body was laid to rest next to his wife Lena at his Kabarak home. That was his wish.