Kenyans Queue To See Body Of Longest-Serving Ruler, Moi

 Kenyans Queue To See Body Of  Longest-Serving Ruler, Moi

Hundreds of Kenyans formed long queues on Sunday to glimpse the body of the country’s longest-serving leader, Daniel Arap Moi, lying in state ahead of a state funeral.

Moi, who ruled Kenya for 24 years  died on February 4 aged 95.

The body of the late president who towered over Kenya between 1978 and 2002 was escorted by military guard through the streets of the capital to the parliament building, drawn on a gun carriage and wrapped in the national flag.

Foreign dignitaries, soldiers and ordinary citizens paused, bowed and saluted as they passed Moi’s body dressed in dark suit atop a velvet green plinth.

Many of those queuing Sunday had come to pay their respects to a ruler they revered, while others stood in disbelief that he was gone.

But Moi leaves a mixed legacy. During his tenure, corruption became endemic and tribal divisions were stoked and turned bloody, but many also remember a period of relative peace in Kenya as east Africa was roiled by conflict.

In neighbouring Ethiopia, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, a brief moment of silence was observed Sunday by visiting leaders and dignitaries before an annual two-day conference got underway.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said Africa “had lost one of its illustrious sons”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who on Saturday led the tributes for Moi on the first of his three days in state, remembered “a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism”.

His body will lie for public viewing in Nairobi for three days, until a memorial service with full civilian and military honours on Tuesday.

His body will be buried Wednesday in his home area of Kabarak, 220 kilometres northwest of Nairobi.

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