GLOWING TRIUTE

Presidents term Moi a peacemaker, pan-Africanist

Museveni says Moi had the right medicine for Kenya

In Summary
  • Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni pays tribute to Moi as a patriot
  • Leaders say country's longest-serving president had unique abilities 
Yoweri Museveni
Yoweri Museveni
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Regional leaders on Tuesday praised former President Daniel arap Moi for keeping Kenya a haven for peace at a time when neighbouring countries were rocked by instability.

At least five presidents who attended his funeral service paid glowing tribute to Moi as a peacemaker, a pan-Africanist and a patriot.

They said the country's longest-serving president had unique abilities to ensure Kenya maintained relative calm as the region's nations were hit by civil wars.

 
 

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni paid tribute to Moi as a “patriot” who was committed to the dream of the East African federation.

The Ugandan leader said Moi went out of his way to push for the union of six countries in the region to form a single state.

“One quality I saw in President Moi was that he was a patriot. He truly wanted the East African federation, not just politically but even emotionally. You could see that he loved East Africa,” Museveni said.

He said Moi's wisdom held the country together when Kenya's neighbours were sliding into civil war.

In Africa, leaders are like doctors. If they can identify the sickness in their countries then they can treat that without any problems,” Museveni said.

“Kenya has been peaceful since Independence. You haven't experienced war. This means your doctors have been able to give the correct medicine.”

 

The Ugandan president said Moi had a unique ability to reconcile people and asked his colleagues in the region to emulate him.

 
 

“He also had a capacity to reconcile even if there were some differences. I saw these qualities myself. We who have remained behind should copy these qualities,” he added.

Presidents who attended the ceremony at Nyayo Stadium included Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh, Rwanda's Paul Kagame and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir .

Others were Ethiopian president Sahle-Work Zewde, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic President Mohamed Wali and former Tanzanian presidents Jakaya Kikwete and Benjamin Mkapa.

President Kiir, whose South Sudan republic was birthed out of Moi's efforts, termed the fallen former president an "icon of peace" in the region.

We consider Moi as the hero of our independence and freedom.South Sudan is the product of his work and will remain his legacy,” Kiir said in his tribute to the former president.

After serving as president, Moi was later appointed as a peace envoy to Sudan by his successor, Mwai Kibaki. Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka is holding the position.

Nigerian vice president Oluyemi Oluleke termed Moi a great African patriot and one of the big leaders of the decolonisation of Africa.

"Moi was at the heart of the resuscitation of the East African Community. We thank God for such a great life and for what he was able to do for Kenya and for Africa,” he said.

Mkapa who delivered Tanzanian President Pombe Magufuli's condolence message said Moi was not only a great Pan-Africanist but also a peace champion in the region.

“This was one of the gallant leaders of this great country,” Kagame said.

Moi will be buried on Wednesday in his Kabarak home, Nakuru county.