NAIROBI, FEBRUARY 5: Kenya’s longest-serving President Daniel Arap Moi, whose rule was marred by corruption and torture of opponents, died on Tuesday, the office of the President said. He was 95.
There was no immediate explanation for Moi’s death, but he had been in and out of hospital with breathing problems in recent months. Plaudits poured in from Kenyan politicians, but some of his victims were less forgiving.
“Our nation and our continent were immensely blessed by the dedication and service of the late … Moi, who spent almost his entire adult life serving Kenya and Africa,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement.
Moi died peacefully in hospital at 0220 GMT, surrounded by his family, said his son Gideon Moi, a senator.
Moi came to power in 1978, when he was serving as Vice-President and the nation’s first leader President Jomo Kenyatta died. He remained in power until the end of 2002 when his constitutional term ran out.
Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Jomo Kenyatta, was Moi’s preferred successor but lost the election to the Opposition. Uhuru Kenyatta became President in 2013.
Moi is credited for keeping Kenya relatively stable compared with its troubled neighbours. But he oversaw massive corruption scandals that are still costing Kenyan taxpayers. One scandal, Goldenberg, led to the loss of at least $1 billion in central bank money via compensation payments for bogus gold and diamond exports. (Agencies)