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No invitation required for Kenyans to view Moi’s body: govt

President Uhuru Kenyatta declared a national mourning until Moi is buried, during which flags will fly at half-mast. /CFM.

and MARY THUO

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 7 – The public viewing of the body of former president Daniel arap Moi will be open to all, with no restrictions whatsoever, the government says.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho says no one will be denied a chance to view Moi’s body, and has assured of elaborate security measures throughout the exercise set for Saturday in Parliament.

“There is no invitation required,” Kibicho told journalists at Nyayo Stadium, where preparations for a memorial service was underway Friday, “all members of the public are invited to come view the body.”

Parliament has announced plans to ensure seamless movement for the thousands of members of the public who will turn up to view Moi’s body.

Moi’s body will lie-in-state in Parliament from Saturday morning to Monday, for the public to pay their last respects.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will be the first one to view the body at 10.30am, followed by other senior government officials before the public is allowed.

Kenyans will witness a spectacular military procession on Saturday when Moi’s body will be escorted to Parliament for public viewing, in an elaborate military ceremony which will be replicated during his memorial service and burial in his Kabarnet home.

From the Lee Funeral Home, Moi’s body will be accorded full military ceremonial honours, which include, Conveyance under escort in a Gun Carriage, accompanied by Military Musical Honours, complete with a 19 Gun-salute.

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In an elaborate plan announced by Head of the Public Service Joseph Kinyua, the cortege will leave the funeral home at 08:05 am on Saturday 8 and will be conveyed to Parliament Buildings with the casket being draped in the National Flag. It will be escorted by his family members.

“After President Kenyatta, it will be the turn of the Service Commanders led by the Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe. The Family of the departed retired President will conclude the first phase of the exercise,” said Michael Sialai, Clerk of the National Assembly, in an interview with Capital FM.

He said going by the public viewing of the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa in 2003, there is an expectation Kenyans will turn out in their thousands to pay tribute to Moi.

High ranking officials of the National Government including House Speakers, Chief Justice and judges will then follow the procession to pay their respects, paving way for Members of Parliament from both Houses.

“We are confident the plans we have in place will work, because we learnt from the 2003 experience during the public viewing of the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa,” Sialai said.

Members of the public will be expected to be allowed into Parliamentary Precincts from 2pm to pay their last respects.

“Kenyans from all walks of life will be given access to come bid farewell to their beloved leader of 24 year. We are therefore asking them to use Parliament Road, where personnel from the National Police Service, National Youth Service and Parliament’s Sergeant at Arms will be at hand to direct them,” he said.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Thursday said roads around Parliament will be closed to motorists for the entire period Moi’s body will be in Parliament.

Those coming to view the body have been advised to use the Senate Gate (facing KICC) where they will have to first undergo a security check before being ushered to where the body of the retired president will be lying-in-State.

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Sialai said they are planning to have two parallel queues to facilitate faster movement.

It is estimated that each mourner will take approximately 15-20minutes to walk through from entry point to the exit.

“I would like to ask those who will be driving, that we will not be providing parking so we are advising them to leave their cars elsewhere and walk to Parliament,” he advised.

The National Assembly Clerk further said that adequate measures had been put in place to ensure that Monday’s Special Sitting in both the Senate and the National Assembly will not interfere with the process or vice versa.

“We have taken the necessary measure to make sure that members of the public will not be denied the opportunity to view and pay their last respects to the departed leader, because of the sessions,” he said.

After lying-in-state for three days, Kinyua said, on Tuesday the gun carriage and State Funeral Procession will make its way from Parliament Buildings to the Nyayo Stadium, the venue of the National Memorial Service.

The government has already declared Tuesday a national holiday to enable more people attend the memorial service.

“The National Memorial Service will be an inter-denominational Service, led by the African Inland Church (AIC),” Kinyua said. He will be buried in his Sacho home in Kabarnet, Baringo County where he will be accorded full military and civilian honours.

Moi died on Tuesday at the Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted for more than three months following a long illness, associated with old age. He was 95.

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Moi’s son Gideon and Raymond said “as a family, we have accepted.”

On Thursday, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi recalled the last moments he spent with his father, who encouraged him to remain strong.

Gideon, who has been busy receiving guests at Moi’s Kabarnet Gardens home in Nairobi, said the words of encouragement from his father is the best thing that happened to him.

Moi’s son Gideon with military chief Samson Mwathethe, Interior CS Fred Matiangi and Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai at the Nairobi Hospital on Tuesday February 4, 2020 when Gideon announced the death of his father. /CFM.

“When he saw I was starting to become emotional, he told me, my son, to accept life, you must accept death. But there is also life after death,” Gideon recalled, “Be strong my son when the time comes because I am going home to my father.”

Those words, he said, “are comforting me, and I am hoping that I will have such strong faith.”

Gideon spoke during meetings with leaders who include Governors, Senators and other guests who have been streaming the home since Tuesday when Moi died.

“I am thankful to you Governors and my colleagues from the Senate. We are grateful for the respect that every Kenyan has shown towards our family during this period. May our God bless you all,” he told them.

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