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Kenyans Queue To See Body Of Moi, The Country’s Longest-Serving Ruler

 

Kenyans shaped lengthy queues on Sunday to glimpse the physique of the nation’s longest-serving chief, Daniel Arap Moi, mendacity in state forward of a state funeral.

Moi, whose 24-year rule noticed Kenya develop into a one-party state the place essential voices have been crushed, died on February 4 aged 95.

His physique will lie for public viewing in Nairobi for 3 days, till a memorial service with full civilian and navy honours on Tuesday.

The physique of the late president who towered over Kenya between 1978 and 2002 was escorted by navy guard via the streets of the capital to the parliament constructing, drawn on a gun carriage and wrapped within the nationwide flag.

Foreign dignitaries, troopers and abnormal residents paused, bowed and saluted as they handed Moi’s physique wearing darkish go well with atop a velvet inexperienced plinth.

Read Also: Former Kenyan President Dies At 95

Many of these queuing Sunday had come to pay their respects to a ruler they revered, whereas others stood in disbelief that the person they’d lengthy feared was gone.

Magdalene Njoki, a vendor, travelled together with her two kids from Thia, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Nairobi, to thank the president who offered free milk at school below a Moi-era coverage.

“He was a good leader,” she stated.

But Moi leaves a combined legacy. During his tenure, corruption turned endemic and tribal divisions have been stoked and turned bloody, however many additionally keep in mind a interval of relative peace in Kenya as east Africa was roiled by battle.

Justin Otello, who additionally queued to see Moi’s physique, stated “even the mention of his name” may evoke worry.

“I can’t believe that is Moi’s body lying there. That man who terrorised this country is now sleeping there, motionless,” he stated.

Nixon Ind eche, a retired public servant, stated she was “going to see his body for closure”.

“He detained a lot of people without trial and destroyed our economy, but all that is in the past now because he asked for forgiveness publicly,” he stated.

In neighbouring Ethiopia, on the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, a quick second of silence was noticed Sunday by visiting leaders and dignitaries earlier than an annual two-day convention bought underway.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stated Africa “had lost one of its illustrious sons”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who on Saturday led the tributes for Moi on the primary of his three days in state, remembered “a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism”.

In current years observers had criticised the obvious rehabilitation of Moi because the aged former president usually acquired visits from Kenyatta, his opposition rival Raila Odinga and different politicians, looking for his blessing forward of elections.

Kenyatta revived “Moi Day” in honour of the previous president in 2017, after it was scrapped in 2010.

Officials stated round 23,000 individuals noticed the physique on Saturday, although a ultimate determine shouldn’t be anticipated for some days. Sunday’s longer viewing hours may draw a much bigger crowd.

His physique can be buried Wednesday in his residence space of Kabarak, 220 kilometres northwest of Nairobi.

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