What led President Daniel arap Moi to shed tears?

As we mark a court re-instated Moi Day on 10th October 2018, many Kenyans may not be aware that former President Daniel Arap Moi under whom the day is named once wept early in his rule.

The one and only time retired president Daniel arap Moi is said to have wept in public was in 1982.

The president who was in his fifth year as president had come to the city after the failed 1982 military coup.

“The only time I ever saw the President in tears was when he came to the city to witness the destruction of lives and property following the abortive 1982 coup by elements of the Kenya Airforce,” revealed the late General Jackson Mulinge in a 2002 interview.

The late general adds that as the armed forces boss, he had arranged for the President’s return under armed escort to the city from his home in Kabarak, Nakuru.

“What puzzled us was that the Head of State, though appearing shaken, was more concerned about the destruction of life and property than the fact that he had been about to lose his Presidency,” said Mulinge in the interview.

Led by Senior Private Hezekiah Ochuka a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force took over Eastleigh Air Base at 3 A.M. on Sunday, 1 August 1982.

The 1982 Kenyan coup d’état to overthrow President Daniel arap Moi’s government however failed and loyal soldiers led by Major General Mahmoud Mohammed helped quell the uprising.

President Moi had arrived at the city after the loyal soldiers had taken over and it was then that he shed tears on seeing the amount of destruction that had been meted by the errant soldiers.

Martin Gichinga
Author: Martin Gichinga

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