Kenya: Sally Kosgey Says Moi Was a Brilliant Diplomat Respected Globally

13 February 2020

Nairobi — Former Head of Public Service, Sally Kosgei eulogized former President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi as a leader passionate about foreign policy, saying that he enjoyed good relations with many nations at the height of the cold war era when many African states were divided along the Communism and Capitalism ideologies.

Speaking during the former president's burial in Kabarak, the former Minister who worked under Moi's regime recalled various incidences when Kenya's second President put the country's interests first in the international arena.

Moi who died on February 4, died at the Nairobi Hospital after a long illness and was buried on February 12 at his Kabarak home, in an elaborate military ceremony that included a 19-gun salute complete with a fly-past by the military fighter jets.

She said Moi was respected internationally even with those who did not agree with his policies including top leaders in Germany, Britain, France and Israe-all having been divided sharply on the cold war era ideologies.

"I was particularly lucky to sit with President Moi in his many international meetings with leaders; other leaders often came to consult him. In diplomatic terms, you know, that if they come to you, they respect you and you are the boss," the Aldai MP said, recalling her time in office during Moi's regime. She was the last Head of the Civil Service in 2002 when Moi handed over power to Mwai Kibaki after governing for 24 years.

Moi, who was always known for relying highly on multiple intelligence chiefs got most of these officers from embassies, Sally said as she recalled how the former President received multiple envoys constantly and local ambassadors.

She recalled how Moi stopped a US ambassador in the last 6 months of 1992 from talking about Kenyan politics."The man was a consummate diplomat," she said.

"On Christmas day in 1992, he sent a letter to the German Chancellor to restrain the country's ambassador in Nairobi from accessing our ballot papers. Total success!," she added.

Unlike other leaders, Sally said, Moi was always sent a representative from the palace whenever in London to receive him and was always given full police escort and security, which was not the case for many Heads of State.

According to Sally, the Queen of England always showered praises on the politeness of the then Kenyan President during various meetings she attended with him.

Additionally, she said, Moi also advocated and contributed immensely to matters pertaining to refugees, wildlife and environmental conservation and children's rights and was widely recognized for his work.

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