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Daniel arap Moi: Kenya mourns ‘iconic leader’

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:04 pm

Mr Moi, who led the country from 1978 to 2002, died on Tuesday at 95.

Speaking before the body was taken through Nairobi, President Uhuru Kenyatta called him an “iconic leader”.

But he had a mixed legacy. Critics saw him as an authoritarian ruler, while allies credited him for maintaining stability.

He ruthlessly dealt with political opponents and was accused of overseeing a programme of torture and killings.

He cracked down on the opposition following a failed coup in 1982.

A military officer salutes in front of the body of late Daniel arap Moi, Kenya
Image captionThe former president’s body will lie in state until Monday

In 2004, Mr Moi, who was Kenya’s second president, asked for forgiveness from “those he had wronged”.

But Mr Kenyatta said that as one of the leaders of the independence movement, his predecessor “helped shepherd our country out of the shackles of colonial rule”.

He also praised him for a peaceful transition to multi-party politicLong queues of people of all ages and from across Kenyan society are quietly waiting to view the body at the parliament buildings.

Saturday is the first of three days when the former president’s body will be lying in state.

There will be a state funeral on Tuesday and he will be buried the next day at his private home, 200km from Nairobi.