Kampala, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has expressed his sadness over the death of former Kenya president Daniel Arap Moi who breathed his last at Nairobi Hospital on Monday night. Speaking to Kenyan Television KTN, Museveni credited Moi for working not only for peace in Kenya but also in East Africa.
Museveni said, when Moi succeeded his boss, Jomo Kenyatta, the first President and father to Uhuru Kenyatta the fourth and current President of Kenya, many people thought that the country was going to go up in frames.
“He maintained stability in Kenya, for a long time, I remember some people were worried after the death of Mzei Kenyatta in 1978 that things might go wrong, but they didn’t; he maintained peace there for more than 20 years. That’s why we were running there as refugees because there was peace,” Museveni said.
He added that Moi was a Pan Africanist who believed in the unity of Africans. It was this belief that together with Hassan Mwinyi, the then president of Tanzania that they revived the defunct East African Community (EAC).
“He was an Africanist and whenever we would bring up the subject of East African community, he would totally be in support and he would always take the lead… Maybe we didn’t achieve 100 percent, but we definitely achieved 50 percent because the East African Community (EAC) is now there,” Museveni said.
He was an active East African. He supported the East African Community & its integration. Him, Mzee Hassan Mwinyi & myself revived what had become the defunct EAC. My condolences & that of Ugandans to H.E Uhuru Kenyatta, the Moi family and all Kenyans on the passing of this icon. pic.twitter.com/RnIDjU5dT9
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) February 4, 2020
Museveni and Moi had an on and off again relationship although in the open they put up an appearance of camaraderie. The two according to Museveni, first met in 1979 during the reign of Godfrey Binaisa when he was a minister after the collapse of the government of Idi Amin.
Moi was to later mediate a peace deal between Yoweri Musveni’s NRA rebels and the young government of Tito Okello Lutwa who earlier on had overthrown Milton Obote as president of Uganda.
A deal that was signed in December, commonly known as the Nairobi Peace Agreement never lived to see the light of the day as, the NRA swept to power a little over a month after the signing of the agreement.
For the 16 years that they were both presidents, Moi visited Uganda several times to attend national functions such as Independence and NRM celebrations, the swearing in of Museveni both in 1996, and 2001 among others.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared an indefinite period of national mourning until Moi is buried. Proclaiming his death, Uhuru eulogized Moi as a national hero.
“That as an expression of public sorrow the Flag of the Republic of Kenya shall be flown at half-mast at State House, State Lodges, all Public Buildings and Public Grounds, all Military Bases, Posts and Stations, on all Naval Vessels of the Republic of Kenya, and however elsewhere throughout the Republic of Kenya; from dawn on 4th February, 2020 until sunset on the day of the Burial,” Uhuru’s proclamation said.
When our reporters visited the Kenyan High Commission in Kampala on Tuesday 4th, the flag was flying at half-mast in honor of a man who ruled Kenya with an iron fist until 2002 when he gave up power and anointed Uhuru Kenyatta as his successor.
However a collation led by Mwai Kibaki was able to defeat Moi’s Kanu party and before his death, he had buried the party he had used to unflinchingly crackdown on any form of dissent, whether political or otherwise.