Nairobi — Kenya's second President Daniel arap Moi eulogized his son Jonathan, who succumbed to cancer last week, as a man who was down to earth and peace loving.
Due to his health, Moi did not attend the funeral service held at Kabarak University, but was reported to have been following the proceedings on a TV screen, before he was driven to Kabi Moi, at the home of Jonathan, more than 50 kilometers to witness the final rites.
But even there, Moi did not alight from a silver Range Rover that was parked just next to Jonatha's grave.
Bishop Silas Yego of the African Inland Church (AIC) who conducted final rites, took soil to the former President in the car, and came back with a message that, "Mzee amesema kwa sauti yake, go in peace my son. I will see you later."
These were the last words Retired President Moi said as he watched his son's body being lowered to the grave.
Earlier, a eulogy delivered on by his behalf by his last born son Gideon, who is also the Baringo Senator, the retired president noted that Jonathan who is was a celebrated rally ace and accomplished wheat farmer was always a humble man.
"As we celebrate the life of Jonathan Toroitich Moi, I stand before you today not as a former president, but as a father who is grieving the loss of his son," the former president said.
To many, he said, he was Jonathan, to others JT, to others simply a rally driver, to others Mheshimiwa (honourable), "but to me he was always my son."
"Jonathan from the earliest age was a man of the earth and it came as no surprise that later in life his two greatest passion were rallying and farming. I would like to think his passion for farming came from me. But as for rallying I have no idea!," the retired President said.
And he continued, "Each child is a very special chapter in a father's book. Jonathan today you closed your chapter. I feel you close to my heart and yet too far from my side. You were always in a hurry, competing, rally driving, you loved speed rush. Now you have reached heaven before us one day we will also go to keep you company."
The eulogy was read out by Gideon at a packed funeral service held at Kabarak University, and which was attended by a host of leaders among them Deputy President William Ruto, Chief Justice David Maraga, Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi among others.
Ruto in his condolence message assured the family that the government will stand with them always.
President Uhuru Kenyatta's condolence message was read out by his brother Muhoho, who described the Moi family as "our close friends."
"We have associated with this family for a very long time and we continue to do because they are our close friends," he said.
Ruto urged counties to sensitize locals on the need for cancer screening in the wake of increased deaths.
"Most Kenyans die of cancer because it is usually discovered when it is too late and that is why we are encouraging everyone to always get screened for early detection," he said.