Queen's Event Moi Refused to Attend Without His Rungu
President Daniel Moi in 1981 had a new baton flown to him after the one he had fell and broke into two pieces while in Los Angeles. He had attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York prior.
Just like founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta owned a whisk, Moi carried with him the baton everywhere. It was christened fimbo ya nyayo.
According to a Daily Nation article dated October 10, 2018, analysts stated that the rungu was a symbol of power and authority borrowed from his native Kalenjin community.
Speaking to Jeff Koinange on August 22, 2018, in an episode of Citizen TV's JKLive, former President Moi's Press Secretary Lee Njiru recalled the pressure piled on them when the baton broke.
This was prior to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting that was to be held in Melbourne, Australia.
“We were heading to Australia to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. We had to stay in Honolulu, Hawai because we had telephoned Nairobi, we got one of Mzee’s personal assistants called Peter Rotich. We told him to take two ivory batons to South Africa and fly to Australia before we got there,” Njiru was quoted by Citizen Digital.
"Rotich had to be there before Moi lands in Australia since Mzee Moi had to greet people waving the baton which was akin to President Kenyatta’s fly whisk,” Njiru added.
Njiru recounted that when Moi touched down in Australia, Rotich had already arrived. He got into the plane and handed the new baton to Moi.
The press secretary intimated that there was no way Moi would appear before the public without his baton.
When the president got off the plane waving his rungu, Njiru stated that the people could not learn of the trouble those close to Moi went through.
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