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Mzee Moi to be accorded state funeral

By Hilary Kimuyu February 4th, 2020 2 min read

The late President Daniel arap Moi, who died early on Tuesday morning in Nairobi, will be accorded a state funeral.

While announcing Moi’s death, President Uhuru Kenyatta also said full military honours will be rendered during the funeral whose date is yet to be announced.


“Under the authority vested in me as the President of the Republic of Kenya and the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, do hereby order and direct that the Late Daniel Toroitich arap Moi shall be accorded a State Funeral, with all appropriate Civilian and Full Military Honours being rendered and observed,” President Kenyatta said a Presidential Proclamation.

According to Wikipedia, a state funeral is a public ceremony observing strict rules of protocol held to honour heads of State or other people of national significance.

State funerals usually include pomp and ceremony as well as religious overtones and distinctive elements of military tradition.

Generally, state funerals are held to involve the public in a national day of mourning.

In 1978, Kenya witnessed its first state funeral following the death of the founding father of the nation, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who died on August 22, 1978.

His body lay in state for 10 days with thousands of people viewing the body. On one day, about 90,000 people saw it, according to media reports at the time.

On the day of his burial, the casket was wheeled from State House through the streets of Nairobi to the mausoleum by the same gun carriage used at the 1965 funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s World War II Prime Minister.


The casket bearing the remains of Kenyatta were draped in the Kenyan flag, placed on a stately carriage and escorted by a military platoon.

Kenyatta’s funeral was ranked one of the most colourful state funerals in the world, with national mourning lasting one month.

Protocol for state funerals requires that a platoon – traditionally constituted by 36 soldiers in ceremonial uniform and regalia – accompanies the casket as it is drawn by horses during burial.

Mzee Moi married Helena Bommet in 1950. They had five sons and two daughters, and adopted a third daughter.

The couple separated in 1974.

His wife, famously known as Lena, died in 2004, and their son Jonathan died last year.

Mr Moi is survived by sons Gideon, Philip, Raymond and John Mark, daughters Jennifer, Doris and June and several grandchildren.

His only brother, William Tuitoek, died in 1995.