As long as the print media and human memory are alive, Daniel Arap Moi’s name will remain engraved in our history books and minds. With vast political experience, Moi was dubbed ‘The Professor of Kenyan Politics’ and that he was.
Nyayo’s ascension to power was as dramatic as it was unpredictable. His journey to realms of power reads thus; quite a teaching job in 1955, became a member of LegCo, co-founded KADU, minister, vice president, and lastly, he crowned his political CV with a whopping 24-year rule as Kenya’s second president.
Worth a note is the political intrigues that took place before, during, and after the death of Kenya’s founding father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta which saw Moi who then was his vice becoming an acting president.
As Kenyatta’s health was taking a nosedive, Kiambu cabals popularly known as Kiambu mafias were in a panic mode, they hatched a plot to fill the vacancy immediately it arose for clouds were gathering and anytime, it was expected to pour.
They started a change constitution movement, a campaign that was meant to seal the pathway that gave the vice president a chance to temporarily occupy the top seat in case a sitting president died.
It was Charles Njonjo, a powerful post-independence attorney’s reprimand that halted the Mafia’s ploy. Kiambu mafias were anti-Moi, they perceived the latter as a political weakling and a coward, so?
They vowed to stop him at all costs. The expected happened and Mzee was no more, it’s Eliud Mahihu (Kenyatta’s PC) who telephoned Moi in the dead of the night informing him that Jomo was no more.
At that time, Nyayo was at his rual home in Kabarak, Nakuru. Eliud ordered him back to Nairobi reminding him to keep his eyes open. That marked the start of a new dawn in Moi’s political career.
As the presumptive president made his way to Nairobi, what he didn’t know was that anti-Moi cabals had sought the services of a special contingent of para-military police which constituted hardcore Kikuyu hitmen.
Popularly known as the Ngorokos, they planned an ambush somewhere between Nakuru and Naivasha with strict instructions to eliminate Moi and by doing so, the presidential seat was to be their preserve. This sect was used by politicians to silence their enemies and non-Kikuyu from ascending to power.
Moi had started off his journey and that which saved him from Ngorokos wrath is that the latter mistimed Nyayo’s travel plans. The dreaded militia arrived at the scene of the planned ambush and by then Moi had already passed. That’s how the Kiambu mafias lost the dime.
On 22nd August of 1978 at 3pm, the man who was ignored and often humiliated by Kikuyu elites was sworn in as acting president by Chief Justice Sir James Wicks. Mwai Kibaki and Charles Njonjo were among the members of Kikuyu elites who attended his inauguration.