Former President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi died on Tuesday. A man who clung to the top seat in the country for 24 years breathed his last.
The prominence that comes with the presidency attracts international media and on Tuesday it was not in short supply and certainly did not endorse the former president’s tenure at the helm of East Africa’s biggest economy.
Just as was the case when former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe died, Western media demonized Moi while all local media chose to remain moderate.
Below are some excerpts from global and local media.
Former Kenyan President Who Ruled With an Iron Fist Dies at 95. (Washington Post)
Mr. Moi was one of the last of Africa’s so-called big men who presided over their countries. In increasingly despotic ways. During 24 ruinous years in power, he curtailed political freedom, presided over the stagnation of Kenya’s economy and encouraged patronage politics. He enshrined his name on the currency, schools, an international airport and other prominent sites throughout the East African country.
Reported Yamiche Alcindor.
Kenya Mourns the Death of an Icon. (Daily Nation)
Loved and hated in equal measures, the late President Moi was often dismissed as a dictator by his critics and his 24-year reign was plagued with claims of widespread human rights violations, nepotism, assassinations and embezzlement of state funds.
Reported John Kamau.
Daniel arap Moi, Who Ruled Kenya for Decades, Dies at 95 (New York Times)
But after suppressing opposition and consolidating power in a single-party state-he began a 24-year dictatorial reign. Mr. Moi- with his nimbus of silver hair, buttonhole rose and ivory baton- dominated life in Kenya. He put his face on banknotes, ordered his portrait hung in offices and shops, enriched his family and tribal cronies and, as investigations showed, stashed billions in overseas banks. For much of his tenure, it was illegal even to speak ill of him.
Reported Robert D. McFadden.
Thank you Moi for Kasarani, Nyayo and many more (Citizen TV)
Sports family in Kenya has singled out countries’ giant sporting infrastructure as former President Moi’s eternal legacies in the sector.
Although there are stadia across the country named after the man whose presidency spanned for 24 years, the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani and Nyayo National Stadium which were constructed during Moi’s tenure, standout having hosted all major events in the country.
Poignantly, it is not only sports that Nyayo and Kasarani have hosted, but political events ranging from national celebrations to presidential inaugurations.
Reported Tonny Ndung’u.
Moi, Kenyan strongman who presided over rampant graft, dies (Reuters)
Former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi died aged 95, leaving behind a country still riddled by corruption that became rampant during his rule over the East African nation from 1978 to 2002.
Moi succeeded statesman and independence leader Jomo Kenyatta, having served as his vice president. Diplomats said he was transformed from a cautious, insecure leader into a tough autocrat following an attempted coup after four years after he came to power.
He set up torture chambers in the basement of Nyayo House, a government building in Nairobi’s city centre that now houses the immigration department.
Thousands of activists, students and academics were held without charge in the underground cells, some of them filled with water. Prisoners were sometimes denied food and water, rights groups say.
Reported William Maclean and Maggie Fick.
From classroom to State House: The story of the late President Danile(Sic) Moi (The Standard)
The late President Daniel Toroitich Moi was destined for greatness.
It is worth appreciating the long journey that was former President Daniel arap Moi’s ascendancy to power, how he exercised and retained it.
From the blackboard, most coveted office in the land captures the story of retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi who was born in 1924.
Reported Wambua Sammy.
Kenya’s former President Daniel arap Moi dies aged 95 (BBC)
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced his death, saying the nation had lost a “great man”.
Mr Moi was Kenya’s longest-serving president. He was in office for 24 years, until intense pressure forced him to step down in 2002.
His critics saw him as an authoritarian ruler who oversaw rampant corruption, but his allies credited him for maintaining stability in the country.