Nairobi — Retired President Moi yesterday underwent a surgery to remove accumulated fluid in his left knee following a road accident on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway on Saturday.
The operation to restore his mobility went on for more than one hour at the Nairobi Hospital in the late afternoon.
When he was wheeled out of the theatre at 5.20pm, his doctors advised that he goes straight for bed rest and stopped any visitors from seeing him until today.
He spent the second night at the hospital to allow doctors keep an eye on him.
President Kibaki led a host of dignitaries, including Cabinet ministers and MPs, in visiting Mr Moi at the hospital, where he was readmitted on Saturday night.
Earlier on Saturday, Mr Moi had been examined and treated for shock and allowed to go to his Kabarnet Gardens home, following the road accident.
Mr Moi is at the hospital's private North Wing under the care of doctors David Silverstein and Shem Musoke.
Yesterday, his Press Secretary, Mr Lee Njiru, said after examination, doctors found that some fluid had accumulated around the right knee, causing what is medically known as "aspiration of the knee"
As such, an operation had to be done on the knee to remove the blood, Mr Njiru said.
"He was not put to sleep. The doctors only used local anaesthesia," Mr Njiru said after the operation.
Earlier, Mr Njiru had said: "The doctors have thoroughly checked him (Moi) and found some fluid in the leg, which needs to be sucked out through an operation. Apart from that, Mr Moi is fine as he did not get any fractures whatsoever."
He said the decision to have Mr Moi admitted to hospital was taken after he complained of pain in his legs.
Doctors had given the assurance that the retired President was well and there would be no need to fly him out of the country for further treatment.
Mr Moi's driver had also been confirmed well after medical check-up.
Mr Njiru, Mr Moi's private secretary, recounted the accident, which he described as a horrendous experience. With Mr John Lokorio and the body guard, Mr Alex Kiprop, Mr Njiru was with the former President in the Range Rover, when the accident occurred.
Recounted Mr Njiru: "It was a miraculous escape. It is difficult to comprehend that we are alive today. We can only see the hand of God in it." President Kibaki arrived at the hospital at 12.30pm accompanied by his son Jimmy and State House comptroller Hyslop Ipu and conferred with Mr Moi for about 20 minutes, 10 of them privately.
The President also sent a message of goodwill and quick recovery to other people who were involved in the road accident.
He appealed to motorists to adhere to traffic rules. Traffic police, and the Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit was also asked to ensure strict adherence to traffic regulations.
President Kibaki did not address journalists who have been camping at the hospital since Saturday evening.
Other dignitaries who visited Mr Moi yesterday were Cabinet ministers Musikari Kombo and Kipruto Kirwa and MPs Kalonzo Musyoka, Nick Salat, Nicholas Biwott, William Ntimama, Henry Kosgei, Anthony Kimetto, and Maoka Maore.
Former powerful attorney-general Charles Njonjo, former Cabinet minister Julius Sunkuli and former Head of the Civil Service Sally Kosgei, were among the other visitors of Mr Moi at the hospital.
Speaking after visiting the former President, Mr Kirwa, the Agriculture minister, said Mr Moi was well and there was no cause for alarm.
"I can assure you that Mr Moi is well and is responding well to treatment. He recognised me and the other visitors."
Mr Kombo, the Local Government minister, said Mr Moi was cheerful and was even cracking jokes with is visitors. "There is nothing to worry about," he said
Mr Musyoka, the Mwingi North MP, said the former President was in "excellent" shape.
"It is with a great sense of relief that I have found Mr Moi is well," he said.
Mr Njonjo asked journalists who had camped in the hospital compound to "go home as there was nothing to report about."
Mr Moi's vehicle was involved in a serious accident on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway and the former Head of State rushed to hospital complaining of chest pains.
He was put through what an aide described as "routine checks" and allowed to go home, only to be rushed back three hours later.
Mr Njiru said Mr Moi arrived at his Kabarnet Lane home from the hospital at 6.15pm. "He had even had his dinner before we felt he should return to hospital," Mr Njiru said.
At 11pm, Mr Moi was taken for X-ray examinations to determine whether there was a fracture.
The accident occurred at Lari, Kiambu, as Mr Moi travelled to his Kabarak home after attending a graduation ceremony at Scott's Theological College in Machakos.
Mr Moi, his personal secretary, Mr John Lokorio, Mr Njiru, and his ADC were travelling in the same vehicle at the time of the accident. None of the vehicle occupants was injured, but they were all taken to the Nairobi Hospital for examination and were treated for shock.
The accident was caused by a pick-up vehicle coming from the opposite direction, said Mr Njiru.
"It hit Mr Moi's car on the side. The vehicle is a 1200cc pick-up, which was speeding. It overtook two cars on the wrong side of the road before colliding with the ex-President's car. Had it maintained the normal speed limit, the accident would not have happened."
Yesterday, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident with retired President Moi's vehicle apologised for the misfortune.
Mr James Mwangi Kinyua, hospitalised at the Kijabe Mission hospital, said he was sorry and wished Mr Moi quick recovery, saying the accident was not intended. "I want to tell the former Head of State that I am very sorry for the accident, and wish him quick recovery," Mr Kinyua said.
He said he and Mr Raphael Munguti were coming from Flyover where they had harvested potatoes and peas and were heading to Kinoo before the accident happened.
"I cannot recall exactly what happened as I just found myself in hospital. It is through God's grace that we survived," Mr Kinyua said.
Mr Kinyua' situation is stable even though he was still in pain.
Mr Munguti said he could not remember what happened because he just found himself at the hospital.
Meanwhile, churches yesterday prayed for the quick recovery of the former President.
At the AIC Milimani Church in Nairobi, special prayers were offered for Mr Moi
The prayers were led by Reverend Mathews Mwalwa, who wished the former President quick recovery.
Former Minister Jeremiah Nyagah, who talked to the Nation after attending church service at the All Saints Cathedral, headed for the Nairobi hospital.
He was with his son, the Government Chief Whip, Mr Norman Nyagah.
The special prayers were led by the provost, the Rev Peter Karanja.