Kenya: Day 2 - More Kenyans Stream to Parliament to View 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

By Njoki Kihiu, Nairobi — Queues started forming as early as 6am Sunday, on Day 2 of Moi's body lying-in-state in Parliament for public viewing.

From Kencom House, through KICC on City Hall Way, Kenyans lined up, some with their children, through to Parliament Road where they waited for their turn to view the body of retired President Daniel arap Moi.

"Mzee Moi was a great man and he used to come to Kakamega more often," said Philip Walubengo as he lined up, "I will remember him for opening a hospital in Webuye."

Walubengo urged more Kenyans to turn up and "see the body of our former leader."

"This is a one in a lifetime opportunity," he said, when asked why he went to see him.

Kenyans started viewing Moi's body Saturday when it was driven in on a gun carriage with the coffin drapped in the national flag.

It was taken back to the Lee Funeral Home and returned to Parliament on Sunday. The last day of public viewing is on Monday, ahead of his memorial service at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday followed by a state burial on Wednesday when he will be accorded a 19-gun salute by the military.

Those interviewed by Capital News spoke fondly of a man who ruled Kenya for 24 years, with majority sharing nostalgic memories of the free milk program for public primary schools.

For some, like Mike Ouma, they attributed their academic success to the milk which they say acted as the only motivation to pursue education, at a time the government was battling high levels of illiteracy among Kenyans.

"I hated education so much, but I went to school due to the free milk," Ouma, who went ahead with education to acquire a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) said.

Hundreds of police officers, some on horse-back were deployed outside Parliament to manage the queues of Kenyans determined to view Moi's body.

Kennedy Ng'ang'a, a resident of Kabete pleaded with Kenyans to forgive Moi, saying he ruled at a time the country faced a myriad of challenges, that required him to be firm.

"Why burden yourself with hatred?" he posed while referring to Moi's striking last statement as he handed over power to his predecessor President Mwai Kibaki," he said, and recalled Moi's last words of "if I have done anything wrong, please forgive me, I also forgive those hurt me."

A program released by Parliament on Friday states that Kenyans will have a chance to view Moi's body from 2pm, after President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders, government officials and international dignitaries.

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.

Moi's son Gideon and Raymond said "as a family, we have accepted."

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