How Moi's Wife Embarrassed Him in Kenyatta's Presence

  • An undated photo of former President Daniel Moi with his wife Lena Moi Twitter
  • Little known about former President Daniel Moi's wife Lena and how their 25-year marriage ended. 

    It is reported that the couple's conflicts worsened after Moi joined politics, which left him with little time to attend to family matters. 

    Moi: The Making of an African Statesman, a biography by Andrew Morton sheds more light in what could have been the final blow to Moi's marriage. 

    From right: Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Lena Moi, Mama Lucy Kibaki (far left) Photo: Kenya National Archives

    In the book, the author tells of a day when Lena failed to honour former President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's invitation to dance thus humiliating her husband Moi.

    "Family friends say, the final break-up came soon after Lena refused to dance with Kenyatta during a social event.

     "As an uncompromising Christian, she believed that dancing was sinful, but the insult to President Kenyatta gravely embarrassed Moi," read an excerpt from the book. 

    The author also noted that Moi was naturally more at ease in male company than with women. 

    The book continues to inform that Moi was very loyal and tolerant to Kenyatta's mode of operation. 

    From time to time he had to listen to Cabinet meetings being conducted in Kikuyu. Even as such, Moi displayed composure in the face of all these and others. 

    During the writing of the memoirs, Morton was granted unique access to interview Moi's family, his friends, his colleagues as well as his enemies.

    Lena Moi (left) and Mama Ngina Kenyatta in October 20, 1967 Photo: Kenya National Archives