WELL PLANNED

Mourners exceed 30,000 at Kabarak

First 30,000 were given breakfast

In Summary

• By 9am, mourners had exceeded by 10,000. 

• Some people arrived as early as 2am before the gates were opened

Gideon Moi views the body of his father, former president Daniel Moi, in Parliament on February 8.
FINAL JOURNEY: Gideon Moi views the body of his father, former president Daniel Moi, in Parliament on February 8.
Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

The organising committee of the burial of retired president Daniel arap Moi had to make last-minute changes to accommodate mourners as numbers swelled by the hour on Wednesday. 

The committee led by Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya had made sitting arrangements for 30,000 people. By 9am, the numbers had exceeded. 

There were still long queues of people who had travelled from far and wide to celebrate Moi's life. 

 

The seats were quickly increased by 10,000.

Some people arrived at the gates as early as 2am before the gates were opened two hours later. 

"The arrangement here was perfect and the entry smoother than I expected," a distant relative of the family, Susan Chelimo, said. She had travelled from Mt Elgon. 

Chelimo said she went through thorough screening at the gate and had to queue again to receive half-a-loaf of bread, soda, water and the funeral service programme.

"I was ushered to my seat and had sat by 4:10am and this shows that the planning was great," she said.

Many sat on the manicured Kabarak University open ground and braved the scorching sun because the three mega domes had been filled to capacity. The dignitaries' parking section was a sea of vehicles. 

Some mourners had travelled from as far as Mombasa and had to sleep in Nakuru as they waited for the day. 

 

Others walked several kilometres to the venue while the rest were ferried using school buses.

Others stood throughout the service which was addressed by family members, former government officials who served in the Moi era and other leaders who included President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

The event was painted red with Kanu colours to celebrate the man who was among the early members of the party. 

Besides the snacks, some of the mourners were lucky to get the Kanu t-shirt while the majority got caps. 

As is the norm in big crowds, emergency service providers such as the Kenya Red Cross Society and St Johns were present at the venue. 

Edited by R.Wamochie