'WE ARE ALL PILGRIMS'

Moi knew about death, was prepared — cleric

Late ex-president revered God in his dealings and used Bible verses to make decisions

In Summary

• Clergyman says Moi would consult the Bible whenever he was faced with challenges in running the state. 

• He says Moi believed in being kind, loving, helping others as taught in the Bible. 

Retired AIC Bishop Silas Yego during the funeral service of retired President Daniel Moi at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi, on February 11.
WALKED WITH MZEE: Retired AIC Bishop Silas Yego during the funeral service of retired President Daniel Moi at Nyayo Stadium, Nairobi, on February 11.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Details have emerged of Christian beliefs that shaped President Daniel arap Moi’s decisions as he ran the government. 

The former president relied on the Bible for guidance, according to a clergyman who walked with him through most part of his 24-year tenure as head of state.

Retired AIC bishop Silas Yego told mourners at the state funeral service at Nyayo Stadium that Moi consulted the Bible whenever he was faced with challenges in running the state. 

 

The clergyman lifted the lid on Moi’s beliefs about politics, death, Christian living, loving children, loving people, helping others, success and good neighbourliness.

Yego revealed that the former president knew about his death and was prepared, citing his common teaching to gatherings that "we are pilgrims". 

The cleric reminisced a conversation between Moi and his close confidant Ezekiel Bargetuny about death and how Bargetuny feared what would follow.

“He used to ask Bargetuny, do you know Jesus?  He would then refer him to 1 Cor 25; 15; Psalms 116: 18; and Revelation 14: 13. Throughout his Christian journey, Moi was sure he’d go to heaven,” Yego said. 

He added that the late president was passionate about people getting saved “and preached to ministers how ‘the heart is deceitful’”. 

“He had memorised John 3:16 and Luke 15:7 which reads, ‘I tell you, in the same way, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repented’,” Yego said. 

The preacher further revealed that Moi valued baptism as something fitting for a saved person, hence his frequent trips to Kabarak for the events. 

He said Moi believed in being kind, loving, helping others as taught in the Bible. 

“On Christian values, he was keen on forgiveness as taught in Matthew 6 which says ‘forgive us our debts’. Moi was swift in telling the truth as taught in Colossians 3:9.” 

Yego said this was the reason the former president failed to give teachers money during their months-long strike in 1997. 

“When we had a problem with teachers in 1997, I advised him to tell the union he’d give them money. He said that there was no point of lying,” the bishop said.

The preacher also revealed that Moi believed that for one to succeed in politics, they must not lie to the people they serve.

Among Moi's favourable quotes on matters politics, Yego said, were Colossians 3: 9; Proverbs 10: 19; and Proverbs 21: 23.

On loving people, the clergyman told mourners that the late president taught John 13:35 which says, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

“He valued what the Bible directed us to do. He believed that giving was biblical. Among his quotes on this was Matthew 7:12 which reads that, "in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Yego also spoke of the late president’s commitment to work. “Those who worked with him know he was a workaholic. He woke up very early in the morning.”

“He used to refer us to Ecclesiastes 9:10 which says that, whatever one does, they should do with their might an the book of 2 Timothy 4:5 which says, ‘discharge your duties well’ as well as Philippians 4: 13 and Romans 4; 12 were his favourite.”

The retired AIC bishop said Moi never bragged. 

“He was a humble man who believed that it was not by his might that things could work out for the best of the country. He never bragged and instead attributed it to God himself." 

On giving, the preacher said Moi followed the teaching of Proverbs 9:10 which reads, "Honour the Lord with your wealth with your first fruits, then your barn will be filled."  

Yego said this was the reason State House was a beehive of activities with ministers and MPs seeking donations to take to churches and school buses.

He said former Cabinet minister Sally Kosgey, ex-Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Sudan peace mediator Lazarus Sumbeiywo can best explain how Moi cherished regional peace. 

Edited by R.Wamochie