Mbotela: The question Moi used to ask on every trip

Veteran presenter worked for Moi from 1983 to 1994

In Summary

• The late President hired him in his press unit, enabling him to travel around the world

Leonard Mambo Mbotela
Leonard Mambo Mbotela
Image: Courtesy

Veteran radio presenter Leonard Mambo Mbotela says he will remember the late President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi for his great contribution to education.

Speaking to Word Is on Monday, Mbotela recounted how Moi opened schools during his time.

"Mzee Moi put education on the front of everything and opened so many schools in the country. Among them are Pangani Girls and Moi Girls. He also renovated State House Girls and made it a boarding school with his own money," Mbotela said.

President Moi died last week at Nairobi Hospital and will be buried today at his Kabarak home. Mbotela says he worked for Moi from 1983 to 1994.

After the attempted coup d'état in 1982, Mbotela says he got a call from Lee Njiru, the then head of the presidential press unit, and was informed that he would be joining the then President Moi's press unit. That is how Mbotela managed to go to State House and meet the former head of state.

Through that opportunity, Mbotela travelled to many parts of Kenya and foreign countries, including China and Israel.

"One day I was alone very early in the morning in the office. President Moi was impressed that I was an early riser. He took me to his office, where we had a conversation face-to-face, and he asked me what I wanted from him," Mbotela recalled in an earlier interview.

Of course, that was a golden opportunity for Mbotela. President Moi promised him some land back home and gave him Sh100,000. "We became friends since then and I would take his microphones when he was addressing the public," he said.

Another thing Mbotela says he remembers Moi for was his love for the church. "He never missed church on every Sunday. Even when he travelled, the first question he would ask is if there was a church around," he said.

Mbotela advised young people to love their jobs and always obey time. "Let's have a passion for our work. Do your job accordingly as a young person to maintain your career and always keep time.

The veteran presenter is known for his show 'Ungwana', which he started in 1964. It's a programme that mainly focuses on educating people in society.