The former President of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi is dead at the age of 95. Moi who stepped down in 2002 after being constitutionally barred from running for a further term, died at Nairobi Hospital in the early hours of February 4, 2020.
Moi fought off rivals in a bitter contest to take the top job in 1978, succeeding Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, when he died. He was seen by his critics as an authoritarian ruler who held on to power for 24 years, while he is being credited with maintaining stability in the East African country by his allies.
One of the defining scandals of his presidency was the loss of $1 billion from the central bank through false gold and diamond exports.
A report by Britain-based risk consultant group Kroll in 2007 claimed Moi’s family and clique laundered money on a global scale, buying properties and companies in London, New York and South Africa and even a 10,000-hectare (25,000 acres) ranch in Australia.
Moi was however praised for keeping Kenya a relative haven of peace during a chaotic period in east Africa which saw the genocide in Rwanda and civil wars in Burundi and Somalia.
Confirming Moi’s death, President Uhuru Kenyatta said;
“It is with profound sadness and sorrow that I announce the passing of a Great African Statesman, H.E. Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, the Second President of the Republic of Kenya.
“His Excellency the Former President passed on at the Nairobi Hospital on the early morning of this 4th February, 2020, in the presence of his family.”
The former school teacher was a close ally of Kenyatta in the run-up to Kenyan independence in 1963. He served as home affairs minister from 1964 – 1967. He became the country’s vice-president from 1967 to 1978, and succeeded President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta following the latter’s death.