NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – A political tsunami swept the ruling Kenya African National Union (KANU) in 2002, sending the independence party to the opposition.
It is also marked the end of an active political career for former President, the late Daniel Arap Moi, whose preferred candidate was a new entrant to national politics, Uhuru Kenyatta lost to Kenya’s third president Mwai Kibaki.
In the background, a lot was happening, among them a plan to evict Moi from the Kabarnet Gardens residence in Nairobi which was once the official residence for the Vice President.
Moi became a tenant at the official residence of the Vice President in 1967, after Kenya’s founding father appointed him Vice President, a position he held for at least 12 years.
“It is true they were plans to evict the former President,” former National Assembly speaker Francis Ole Kaparo revealed on Monday.
Ironically, he made the revelation at the very home, when he paid a visit to the family to convey his condolence message.
The plan was led by the current Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and other National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (Narc) leaders.
Aware of the plans, Kaparo reached out on President Mwai Kibaki for help after learning of the plan.
“I asked President Kibaki not to allow the former President to be harassed. It would have lit a fire that would not have been put off,” Kaparo said.
He then planned a private meeting between the two leaders – which was the first after Moi exited State House.
Before the “private meeting,” he said their relationship was “fluid.”
It is after the meeting that President Kibaki thwarted the attempts to evict Moi from the home and went ahead to reward him with a title deed.
Moi had maintained the home past his tenure as Vice President and during his 24-year rule – the longest a Kenyan leader has served.
“We also thank President Kibaki for making a wise decision to protect Moi,” he said.
In his condolence message, Kaparo hailed the late President as a visionary leader and a man who started his journey as National Assembly Speaker after he lost the Laikipia East parliamentary seat.
Moi died on February 4 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.
Moi’s sons Raymond and Gideon said the family had reconciled itself with the departure of the former leader.
His body has been lying-in-state at the Parliament buildings, with Monday being the third and last day for the public viewing.
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 where thousands of Kenyans are expected to attend.
Moi will be accorded a State burial on Wednesday at Kabarak.