For the 24 years the late President Daniel Arap Moi ruled, majority of Kenyans identified him with his Nyayo slogan and hard-line stance.
Moi was also popularly known to Kenyans as Nyayo, a Swahili word for “footsteps”, as he often said he was following in the footsteps of his predecessor and first President, Jomo Kenyatta.
His Nyayo philosophy anchored on Peace, Love and Unity also resonated with one of his favourite quotes that ‘Siasa baya maisha mbaya’ meaning bad politics leads to a bad life.
This he often said when urging opposition leaders not to divide Kenyans along tribal lines in their quest for votes as Kenya ushered in multi-party politics.
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The late Moi also earned the title “Professor of Politics” after ruling for 24 years, the longest in Kenyan history to date.
In the beginning, the late president was popular, with widespread support all over the Country.
He toured the Country and came into contact with the people everywhere, which was in great contrast to Kenyatta’s imperial style of governing behind closed doors.
However, political realities dictated that he would continue to be beholden to the Kenyatta system which he had inherited, including the nearly dictatorial powers vested in the Presidency.
Moi was constitutionally barred from running in the 2002 presidential elections.
Some of his supporters floated the idea of amending the constitution to allow him to run for a third term, but Moi preferred to retire, choosing Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenya’s first President, as his successor.
However, Mwai Kibaki was elected President by a two to one majority over Kenyatta, which was confirmed on 29 December 2002.
Kibaki was then wheelchair-bound, having narrowly escaped death in a road accident while on the campaign trail.
After leaving office in December 2002, Moi lived in retirement.