I will not miss Daniel arap Moi, says Koigi Wamwere

Friday February 7 2020

Veteran politician Koigi Wamwere addressing the

Veteran politician Koigi Wamwere addressing the press at his office in Nakuru town on February 4, 2020. PHOTO | SAMUEL BAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By Daily Nation

Veteran politician Koigi Wamwere said he was not bitter with former President Daniel arap Moi for detaining him for nine years. However, he said he wants to forget Mzee Moi fast.
 “I don’t want us to meet in the same place in heaven ….” said Mr Wamwere on Tuesday in Nakuru town.

He said he regrets that Mzee Moi died without owning up to his misdeeds during his 24-year rule.
He said that Mr Moi should have asked for forgiveness over the many errors of omission and commission during his 24-year reign.
“He has passed away without fulfilling a very serious responsibility to tell the nation he is sorry for what he did during his tenure,” Mr Wamwere said.
He said the former president should have asked for forgiveness from those he had wronged.
He said he shaved his dreadlocks, which he had vowed to keep in defiance to the Kanu government, after the ''fall of Moi''.  
 “When I shaved [dreadlocks], it was a great moment for me,” said Mr Wamwere, who is in his late 60s.

Asked if Mr Moi’s death shocked him, he said: “Why should I be shocked? He was old enough and he should thank his Maker for keeping him for 95 years. If I die at that age, nobody will be shocked, I would be very happy.”
Asked what he will miss from Mzee Moi, he said: “I will miss absolutely nothing.”
“People say he was generous but the money he was giving was State money,” said Mr Wamwere.
Comparing the Moi era and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's, Mr Wamwere said Moi did worse than Mzee Kenyatta.
 “He detained me for nine years and it is very difficult [for me] to give him high marks,” he said.
He said he first met Mzee Moi in Nyeri while his last encounter with him was during the campaign to change the Constitution.
According to Mr Wamwere, Mzee Moi had offered him a Cabinet position but he declined since he had been elected Nakuru North MP and he had an obligation to represent his people.
Mr Wamwere said the attempt to offer him a Cabinet position was a bait to silence him.  “After the attempted coup in 1982, I was detained after I declined his offer,” he said.
He said Mzee Moi invited him to his Kabarak home and asked him why he was renting a house in Nakuru town yet he was the Nakuru North MP.  
“I told him I and my parents were landless and that is why I rented a house in town. He told me he would order the then District Commissioner Benjamin Ogol to get land for me,” he said.
However, Mr Wamwere rejected a piece of land at Kerengero since it was meant for squatters.
“When I asked the DC to look for alternative land, he told me my land had been taken by Mzee Moi since I opposed his leadership,” he said.
However, he said his most memorable encounter with Mr Moi was when he was invited to State House in Nairobi.
“We had a long meeting with Jeremiah Kiereini [then Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet] and [former Cabinet minister] Simeon Nyachae and I was pressured to switch allegiance and oppose [Mr Mwai] Kibaki.”
 “After the meeting, Mzee Moi offered me money to fuel my vehicle; he opened four briefcases full of new bundles of [currency] notes and gave me two bundles,” he said.
“I could not say no because, by then, he was very powerful. It was like he was giving me the last chance to redeem myself before I was detained,” he added.

“There were many incidents between me and Moi but this shocked me as I wondered how he could keep so much money in the room,” he said.
Mr Wamwere said he was not bitter with the former president.  
“I thought if I entertained bitterness, it would hurt me,” he said.
He said that Mr Moi handing over power without saying ''sorry Kenyans'' was a great disservice to the country.
“When I met Mr Moi and asked him whether he could say sorry for his government’s misdeeds, he refused,” he said.
He added: “If he was not willing to say sorry to me, he didn’t believe in making amends.”