Thousands Celebrate Life Of Moi In Nairobi, Kenya

Moi: funeral was celebratory Moi: funeral was celebratory pic by BBC

About 30,000 people have packed a stadium in Kenya's capital, Nairobi, for the state funeral of the country's longest-serving President Daniel arap Moi, who died last week aged 95.

Rather than mourning, many in the crowd are celebrating Mr Moi's life.

He was a towering figure who dominated Kenyan politics during his 24-year presidency.

Critics saw him as an authoritarian ruler, while allies credited him for maintaining stability.

Mr Moi cracked down on the opposition following a failed coup in 1982.

Before he left office in 2002, he asked for forgiveness from "those he had wronged".

Mourners began gathering at the Nyayo National Stadium before dawn to pay their respects, some of them wearing traditional regalia.

Mr Moi's cortege arrived in the stadium flanked by long lines of red-coated soldiers and a brass band playing marching tunes and Christian hymns.

President Uhuru Kenyatta called Mr Moi "a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism".

Mr Moi's son, Gideon Moi, remembered him as "a man with an elephantine memory and a compassionate heart".

"He also loved meat, and nothing could come between him and meat even when the doctors warned him," Gideon Moi said. BBC report

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Last modified on Tuesday, 11/02/2020

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