How Mwai Kibaki Shocked Mzee Moi During Christmas Celebrations

  • Former President Mawai Kibaki (left) and Daniel Moi. Twitter
  • The arguably indomitable former president Daniel Moi was in 1991 caught flat-footed during the year's Christmas celebrations when his Cabinet Minister Mwai Kibaki called it quits.

    The resignation was quite noisy as Kibaki sent a statement to the then privately owned KTN which was read out on air and reportedly landed the female presenter then in hot soup.

    During Moi's era, it was frowned upon for anyone to resign from the government. They were expected to wait until they were either sacked or their tenure expired for them to vacate the office.

    Kibaki resigned from his post in order to start another political party, the Democratic Party (DP).

    Former Presidents Daniel Moi (left) and Mwai Kibaki during the latter's swearing-in ceremony at Uhuru Park on December 30, 2002.

    The only other person who was audacious enough to pull such a stunt on Moi was Kenneth Matiba who, while resigning, sent a copy of the letter to both local and international media houses before sending one to the State House.

    According to a Nation report, that seemed to be the beginning of an onslaught on Moi by Kibaki and his men.

    One decade later, during one of the transformative and most watched elections in the history of Kenya that took place in 2002, Moi was unceremoniously succeeded after 24 years of stranglehold rule.

    Citizens went to polls on December 22 that year and the next day, Opposition leaders were already calling for the new president's inauguration.

    According to Moi’s long-serving Press Secretary Lee Njiru, the former President was forced to drive to Uhuru Park and hand over power to Mr Kibaki in order to avert a political crisis.

    He explained in a past interview with the paper that they had deliberately kept Moi out of the inauguration plans with an ulterior motive.

    “There was a conspiracy to create a false impression that Mzee Moi had refused to vacate office,” he stated.

    Daniel Moi’s long-serving Press Secretary Lee Njiru.