Most Kenyans do not really know Moi and what the man is capable of. A little reminder is in order.
Moi the Liar
Daniel Moi's performance denying any involvement in the murder of former foreign minister Robert Ouko was the kind of performance that would have won a Hollywood oscar.
"My government has absolutely nothing to do with the Ouko murder," he told the nation with a straight face. In fact he looked fairly angry and the one who had been wronged in the whole matter. Clap. Clap. Clap.
The former president still uses the same straight face to tell all sorts of lies.
Moi The Hypocrite
These days Daniel Moi gets very worked up whenever he is talking about ODM. His favourite catchphrase in describing the party—this is nothing more than a tribal party. By extension he also means that Raila Odinga is a tribalist. But hold on a minute sir, Raila has been a student of Moi politics and his machiavellian techniques of consolidating regional support. That is what the regional presidential candidates are all about. So if there is tribalism both are tribalists and Moi cannot point at Raila when most of the fingers in his hand are pointing right back at him (Moi).
This is also the same man who abandoned his wife Lena Moi many years ago and then shed tears at her funeral. The president is human and not a demi-god as some of his cronies wanted Kenyans to believe and trust me, you don't want to know what or who he got involved with through the lonely years at the helm of power and away from his wife.
Moi once looked at a beaming journalist delighted at the restoration of multi-party politics in the country and made a very odd statement. He said in Swahili; Hii multi-party itachoma nyinyi. Kenyans did not have to wait for too long to find out what he meant as houses and property was literally burnt down all over the Rift Valley in the infamous land clashes. Former minister of state in president's office, Burudi Nabwera in a heated exchange with the former president revealed to the public that the former president had imported arrows into the country which had turned up in the clashes.
The former president had accepted multi-party democracy to be restored in Kenya while under intense pressure from the world community and in retrospect would never have survived politically had he continued to stubbornly turn down the idea. But he made sure that people paid for it dearly.
Moi, tolerant and forgiving… to a certain extent.
James Mungai now living in Nyali, Mombasa, is a former powerful provincial police officer incharge of Rift Valley and a close elative of Jomo Kenyatta. This man made then Vice President Moi's life hell.
Once he carried out a crazy search on the former president when he returned from a foreign trip allegedly in search of guns. The search involved the vice president being stripped naked and searched the way naked prisoners are searched.
The fact that Mungai is still alive today is solid proof of Moi's tolerance and capacity to forgive most of the times. I am well aware that this is a contradiction of the vengeful Moi I described earlier, but this is the nature of humans many of them are contradictions.
Still Moi can be ruthless when he feels threatened. The still unsolved Ouko murder proves this beyond any doubt. This decisive ruthlessness was a lesson that he must have learnt in 1982 during the failed coup. Operation Maji machafu was the code name given to the mission that got Moi back to Nairobi from his Kabarak farm on that event ful August 1st day. Although the coup had been crashed, there were still pockets of resistance and the possibilities of a sniper taking out the president were still high. So it is said that he was brought into town inside the bowels of a military tank. On the long uncomfortable trip he must have had plenty of time to make mental notes and corrections to his presidential game plan and true enough it was a very different Moi who emerged after August 1982. Time magazine aptly gave the coup story the headline "Daniel sticks his head into the Lion's den." Well, never again, Moi must have sworn to himself.
That is the kind of lesson that one never forgets and it is quite likely that this is the way the former president views his current struggle to ensure that Raila Odinga never sees the inside of State House as its' occupant. For him it is a battle for the survival of the Moi dynasty and their vast, mostly ill-gotten wealth.
Can this young aspirant turn out to be a giant killer In Cherangany?
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