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President Yoweri Museveni has hailed the deceased former President of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi, for his strong commitment to unify the East African Region, and his ability to reconcile with those he disagreed with.
Moi, who led Kenya from 1979 to 2002, passed away last week on February 1st 2020, aged 95.
Museveni, while addressing tens of thousands that gathered at Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi for the state memorial of the fallen leader, said he had personally witnessed a number of good attributes in Moi, during the time that the two worked together.
“When I was invited here, I said I will take this opportunity to bring out these qualities of Mzee Moi,” he said.
“I personally witnessed his Patriotism, a heart for East Africa and capacity to reconcile with you even when you had some differences. I saw this myself,” he said.
Museveni recounted at one point how Mzee Moi was led to detest the activities of the National Resistance Army (NRA) which at the time was fighting to capture power in Uganda.
“Before we came to power, the trouble makers came here and lied to him that we were not good people. You know trouble makers are always all over the place,” he said.
“Mzee Moi was very unhappy with us and he even closed the border; but later on we met with him in Teso (of Kenya) and we ironed all this out.”
Museveni added, “He has gone, but we who have been with him should take those useful lessons.”
Incidentally, the memorial service was also attended by Rwandan leader Paul Kagame, with whom Museveni has been squabbling over the past year.
On his part, current Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta described the fallen leader as a “giant of history.”
“I was engulfed in a sense of sadness and loss and with a heavy heart, we closed our eyes and said a prayer to the almighty God for the life of President Moi,” Kenyatta said.
President Moi will be buried at his Kabarak home in Nakuru on Wednesday February 12, 2019.