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President of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi arrives at London's Heathrow airport to attend the 1977 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting UK.

President of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi arrives at London's heathrow airport to attend the 1977 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), UK.

Commonwealth remembers former Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi

4 February 2020

The Commonwealth laments the passing of Daniel Arap Moi, statesman and second president of the Republic of Kenya.

President Moi was popularly known to Kenyans as Nyayo, a Swahili word for "footsteps", as he often said he was following in the footsteps of Kenya’s first President, Jomo Kenyatta.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, expressed her profound sadness at the news of his death.

“The African continent and the world has lost an astute leader who guided Kenya through challenging times. I send my sincere condolences on behalf of the Commonwealth to Mr Moi’s family,” she said.

The current President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, said Mr Moi’s legacy endures in Kenya to this day, as captured in the Nyayo philosophy of peace, love and unity.

He said: “The late Mzee Moi’s steady hand guided Kenya through the restoration of multi-partyism and many other challenging periods, culminating in the peaceful transfer of power in 2002, a then rare occurrence in Africa and one which set an example that has been emulated across the continent and ever since”.

Mr Moi started his political career as an elected Member of the Legislative in 1955. He became Minister of Education in the pre-independence government of 1960–1961.

He was Minister for Home Affairs in 1964 and then Vice-President in 1967. He was sworn in as the second President of Kenya on 14 October 1978.

As Vice-President, Moi represented Kenya at the first Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Singapore in 1971. At this meeting, leaders recorded the first articulation of the Commonwealth’s shared values.

His first CHOGM as President of Kenya was in Lusaka, Kenya in 1979. The meeting is remembered for its intense discussion of the political situation in Southern Africa, including independence for Zimbabwe. Leaders also issued the Lusaka Declaration on Racism and Racial Prejudice at the meeting.

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