Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi, Kenya’s longest-serving President, will receive top military and civilian honours in an elaborate state funeral at his Kabarak home.
The family of the country’s second president, yesterday said the State had taken over the funeral programme.
According to the plan, there will be a public viewing of the body from Saturday to Monday.
A funeral service will be held on Tuesday before the burial on Wednesday next week.
Head of the Public Service Joseph Kinyua will lead the arrangements for the funeral likely to be attended by continental and world leaders.
“The family wants to appreciate the speed with which our beloved military and the government moved in to secure Mzee’s situation,” they said in a statement signed by Raymond Moi.
This gesture has given the assurance that all is well in the days ahead until his excellency is interred when the time comes, the family added.
This was a clear signal that the family would want Mzee interred at his home in Nakuru county, and not at the Parliament Square where Kenya’s founding President Jomo Kenyatta was buried or at Heroes Corner near Carnivore.
Kenyatta, who died while in office on August 22, 1978, was laid to rest in a mausoleum which is under 24-hour military guard.
Jomo was accorded the first state funeral on August 31, 1978. His body lay in state for 10 days, with the national mourning period lasting 30 days.
President Uhuru Kenyatta made a presidential proclamation confirming Moi’s death yesterday morning and outlined the plans for his funeral.
Baringo senator Gideon Moi speaking at the Lee funeral home on January 4,2020./EZEKIEL AMING’A
“The late Daniel Toroitich arap Moi shall be accorded a state funeral with all appropriate civilian and full military honours being rendered and observed,” Uhuru said.
The President ordered that flags be flown at half-mast as an expression of public sorrow from yesterday until sunset on the day of Moi’s burial.
However, before the burial, the body would lie in state at a public place for wananchi to view it.
The elaborate burial ceremonies that will be rolled out in Moi’s honour will mirror that of Kenyatta in 1978.
A state funeral is a public ceremony observing strict rules of protocol held to honour heads of state or other people of national significance.
Kenya has only accorded four individuals state burials since it’s Independence in 1963.
They include Kenyatta, former Vice President Kijana Wamalwa, former first lady Lucy Kibaki and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai.
Lucy, the wife of Kenya’s second President Mwai Kibaki, was buried on May 7, 2016 at her home in Othaya.
The ceremony for Mzee Moi will be conducted along with certain procedures that are traditionally preserved for army personnel.
Moi’s casket will be draped in the national flag to affirm that he is mourned by the nation and appreciated by the state.
At the burial or cremation ceremony, full military honours, including the firing of weapons among other reverence traditions are accorded in honour of the deceased.
Small arms or gun salute will be fired after his body is lowered into the grave.
As a retired Commander-in-Chief, Moi will receive the military three-volley salute.
During his burial, Kenyatta’s casket was wheeled from State House through the streets of Nairobi to the mausoleum by the same gun carriage that was used during the 1965 funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War II prime minister.
The state burial of Wamalwa, Kenya’s eighth vice president, took place on September 6, 2003.
He was buried at his Milimani home in Kitale in a ceremony that was characterised by elaborate rites.
The government had offered to bury Wamalwa at Heroes Corner at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi.
Maathai’s funeral service was held at the country’s symbol of independence, Uhuru Park, on October 7, 2011.
A head of state who dies in the office is entitled to military burial.
The honour is extended to retired heads of states, retired chiefs of Defence Forces and any other person as may be authorised by the Defence Council.