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Daniel arap Moi was persuaded to join politics by British colonialists when he was 31, about six decades ago.
His choice of career was teaching, while his pastor thought he would make a great preacher and “fisher of men”.
Moi reluctantly quit teaching to become the African representative for the Rift Valley region in the colonial Legislative Council (Legco) in 1955.
The change of career came with rewards.
From a starting salary of Sh47 as a P3 teacher, and rising to be headmaster at a salary of Sh250, his pay was more than tripled to Sh833 when he joined politics.
It enabled him take a loan and buy his first car, a Land Rover, registration KFF 82.
The colonialists’ quest to have Moi in politics was informed by an assessment that he would be the best bridge-builder in the Rift Valley, the melting point of white-settler and multiethnic politics.
For the same reasons, come Independence in 1963, British intelligence engineered Moi’s political alliance with President Jomo Kenyatta, which saw him later appointed Vice-President.
Moi would equally become the favourite of the US intelligence after the 1969 assassination of their right-hand man, Tom Mboya, who, in any case, had lost political value to Washington, after assassinations of his friends, President J.F. Kennedy and his brother Robert.
But Moi would square it off with the US envoy when, a few weeks on, the latter went to request him to appoint to his Cabinet some opposition MPs elected in that year’s election.
I will do what I like, what I think is best for the country,” Moi told him.
When Hempstone went to bid Moi farewell at the end of his term in Kenya, the President denied him the courtesy of meeting him inside his office and met him in the verandah with media cameras running.
I had nothing against you until you sided with the opposition,” were Moi’s last words.