The former president of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi dies
NAIROBI: Daniel arap Moi , a former school teacher who became the oldest president in Kenya and presided over years of repression and economic turmoil fueled by runaway corruption, has died. He was 95 years old.
Moi's death was announced by the president Uhuru Kenyatta in a statement about the state broadcaster on Tuesday.
Moi, who ruled Kenya for 24 years, had been in the hospital for more than a month.
Although critics called him dictator, Moi received strong support from many Kenyans and was seen as a united figure when he assumed power after founding the president Jomo Kenyatta He died in office in 1978. However, some sick Kenyatta allies tried to change the constitution to prevent Moi, then the vice president, from taking power automatically after Kenyatta's death.
So cautious was Moi in the face of any threat during that uncertain period that he fled his home in the Rift Valley when he learned of Kenyatta's death, and returned only after receiving security assurances.
In 1982, the Moi government passed a constitutional amendment in parliament that made Kenya a one-party state. Later that year, the army stifled an attempted coup d'etat conspired by opposition members and some air force officers. At least 159 people were killed.
The Moi government became more repressive in dealing with dissent, according to a report from the Justice and Reconciliation Commission of Truth of the government that evaluated its government.
Political activists and others who dared to oppose the Moi government were routinely arrested and tortured, according to the report, pointing out illegal detentions and killings, including the murder of a foreign minister.
`` The judiciary became an accomplice in the perpetuation of the violations, while the parliament became a puppet controlled by the executive's hard hand, '' the report said.
Corruption, especially illegal land allocation, was institutionalized, according to the report, while economic power was centralized in the hands of a few.
In 1991, Moi yielded to the demands of a multi-party state due to internal pressure, including a demonstration in 1991 during which police killed more than 20 people and external pressure from the West.
The multi-party elections in 1992 and 1997 were marred by the political and ethnic violence that critics claimed were caused by the state.
When Moi left power in 2002, corruption had left Kenya's economy, the most developed in east africa , with negative growth.
Moi often blamed the West for bad publicity and the economic hardships many Kenyans had to endure during his rule.
As with its predecessor, Kenyatta, many government projects, buildings and bills and coins were named in honor of Moi.
Fed up, Kenyans voted for a new constitution that was implemented in 2010 and made provisions to bar personality cults.