Kenya: Military Affair As Kibaki Given Private Viewing of Moi's Body

Officers of the Kenya Defence Forces accompany former President Daniel arap Moi's body to Parliament buildings on February 8, 2020 for three days of public viewing.
9 February 2020

Former President Mwai Kibaki on Sunday led thousands of Kenyans in the public viewing of former head of state Daniel arap Moi's body at Parliament buildings.

The casket carrying the body of the former President arrived in Parliament at about 7.30am, draped in a national flag.

Mr Kibaki, who succeeded President Moi in 2002, secretly made his way into the precincts of Parliament at around 11.15am.

He avoided the main gate, instead using an alternative gate facing Continental House.

On standby to receive the former President were Moi's sons Raymond and Gideon (Baringo senator), and Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe.

EVERYTHING STOPPED

The media was not allowed to cover any of Mr Kibaki's activities.

The coverage was so strict that even National Youth Service officers were ordered out.

It was purely a military affair for the 32 minutes the ex-President was in Parliament.

The choir was stopped from singing, cameras switched off and the public viewing temporarily stopped.

After viewing the body, Mr Kibaki briefly met Gideon, Raymond and Moi's other close family members and then left Parliament at 11.47am

TRADITIONS

For the second day of viewing, Moi's symbolic 'rungu' was in his right hand, representing authority even in death.

As was the case on Saturday, a soldier stood in each corner of the square in which the bier was placed, with the head bowed, sword inverted and the backs against the body.

Unlike Saturday, however, the ceremonial military regalia worn by a Commander in Chief was hanged on the right side of the body while a black bible and a hymn book were placed on the left.

While on Saturday the former President was dressed in a navy-blue pinstriped suit, a white shirt and a black floral tie, he was in a black suit, white shirt, red tie and black shoes on Sunday.

REACTIONS

Thousands of Kenyans braved the scorching sun and patiently lined up to pay their last respects.

Some overcome by emotions cried while others fainted after viewing the body. St John ambulance personnel, who were on standby, helped them.

Mr Joseph Mukirai, 79 said he worked closely with the former President during the 24 years he was in power.

"I was the chairman of Kanu in Kiambu for 24 years. Mzee was my personal friend ... he loved development," Mr Mukirai told the Nation.

He said Moi occasionally called him for meetings at State House in Nairobi and Nakuru, at which they discussed the country's general development and sometimes Kiambu's affairs.

More From: Nation

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