Kenya comes to terms with the sad reality of the death of former President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi. President Moi passed on on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. President Uhuru Kenyatta has since issued a presidential proclamation announcing the death of Kenya’s second president.
President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi died at 95.
However, there is a new twist to how old the former president could have been at the time of his age. According to Lee Njiru, who has worked as Moi’s press secretary for 42 years, the former president could have been older than 95 at the time of his death.
“Let me clarify that mzee Moi was not 96 years old. He was about 102 or 103 years. He started walking using a walking stick. Then a wheelchair. I have seen a steady decline in his health since then,” Njiru reiterated on a TV interview.
He was quick to rubbish the age recorded on Mzee Moi’s identity card saying, “Unajua Mzee Moi sio hiyo miaka mnasema 96, he was about 102-103. Hiyo mambo ya kipande wachana nayo.”
He further added, “Ukitaka kuhesabu miaka ya Moi, tunahesabu hizi, 1936, na hiyo imeandikwa huko Kapsabet, alitumwa na wazungu kupeleka ng’ombe wa kike kilomita 100 hadi Kapsowar… alifikisha na akapewa shilingi mbili akanunua bibilia. Wakati huo, kijana hangetumwa na wazee kama hajatahiri, kwa hivyo alikua ametahiri 1936 and he was big bodied ndio akapewa hiyo jukumu ndio asikue molested by cattle rustlers. Kama angezaliwa 1924 vile kipande inasema, he would have been 12…”
Loosely translated, Njiru insinuated that Moi was sent by white men deliver cattle to Kapsabet in 1936, at the time you could only be sent to deliver cattle if you had undergone initiation. He was paid 2 shillings for his services, which he used to buy a bible. Should he have been born in 1924, he would have been 12 at the time of this occurrence…
Njiru further added that the only reason why we cannot pinpoint Moi’s real age is that unlike other elderly statesmen, Moi came from a poor family. This hindered his birth from being recorded by relevant authorities.