Military officers escort a gun carriage carrying the coffin of late former Kenya President, Daniel Arap Moi, draped within the Kenya nationwide flag, throughout a state memorial service in Nairobi, on February 11, 2020. SIMON MAINA / AFP
Thousands of Kenyans on Tuesday gathered to mourn the nation’s longest serving chief, the hardline Daniel arap Moi, as every week of mourning climaxed with a state funeral.
Moi, whose 24-year rule noticed Kenya develop into a one-party state the place vital voices had been ruthlessly crushed, died on February 4 aged 95.
Mourners started gathering on the stadium earlier than daybreak to pay their respects.
Moi, who towered over Kenya between 1978 and 2002, lay in state for 3 days in parliament, with tens of 1000’s of individuals submitting previous.
On Tuesday morning, he was taken on a gun carriage draped in Kenya’s flag by way of the streets of Nairobi to the crowded Nyayo nationwide stadium flanked by troopers.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who opened the memorial with the nationwide anthem, has referred to as Moi “a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism.”
Shortly after, the cortege entered the stadium flanked by lengthy traces of red-coated troopers and a brass band enjoying marching tunes and Christian hymns, their shining boots glinting within the shiny solar.
Several overseas leaders from regional nations attended the ceremony, together with Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh, Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir.
The physique of the late president can be buried on Wednesday in his residence space of Kabarak, 220 kilometres (135 miles) northwest of Nairobi.
“The Last Salute”, Citizen TV wrote. “Fare thee well, 1924-2020” nationwide broadcaster KBC headlined.
The normally congested and noisy streets of Nairobi had been quiet, with Tuesday declared a nationwide vacation.
While these on the stadium had come to pay their respects to a ruler they revered, others in Kenya remembered a person that that they had lengthy feared.
Moi’s 24-year rule noticed vital voices crushed, corruption develop into endemic and tribal divisions stoked and switch bloody.
Moi was nevertheless praised for maintaining Kenya a relative haven of peace throughout a chaotic interval in east Africa.