Kenya’s former President Daniel arap Moi has died at the age of 95.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announced his death, saying the nation had lost a “great man”.
Mr Moi was Kenya’s longest-serving president. He was in office for 24 years, until intense pressure forced him to step down in 2002.
His critics saw him as an authoritarian ruler who oversaw rampant corruption, but his allies credited him for maintaining stability in the country.
In 2004, Mr Moi asked for forgiveness from “those he had wronged”.
President Kenyatta has declared a period of mourning, including the flying of flags at half-mast, until a state funeral is held for Mr Moi. No date has been set for the funeral.
Mr Kenyatta said the continent was “immensely blessed by the dedication” of the late president, who spent “almost his entire adult life serving Kenya and Africa”.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who was detained by the Moi regime for campaigning for multi-party democracy, praised him for introducing “incremental” reforms.
He later reconciled with Mr Moi, and said that in retirement the former president had “conducted himself with complete dignity befitting an elder statesman”.
“Daniel Moi orchestrated the largest theft of tax payer coffers in the 90’s. Over 100 Billion KShs was stolen via the Goldenberg scandal. He oversaw a torture program that KILLED Kenyans.”
“Daniel Arap moi brutally murdered Dr. Robert Ouko Seda. To Moi, anyone who opposed his regime was writing their own orbituaries. Rest in peace wuod Nyahera. To the hypocrites praising Moi shame on you” #RIPPresidentMoi
Others praised Mr Moi for his focus on improving the health of schoolchildren.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the ministry of education distributed free packets of milk to all primary schools, targeting children under the age of 13.
This is how your generousity will be remembered. Go well #RIPMoi
Mr Moi died with his son Gideon at his bedside at a private hospital in the capital, Nairobi, of an unspecified illness.
“He passed away peacefully,” Gideon Moi said.
“I have seen a steady decline. His decline was very worrying. He has been hospitalized since October 10th 2019 and has never left hospital,” Mr Moi’s former press secretary Lee Njiru told Kenya’s privately owned Citizen TV.
Mr Moi is survived by eight children. He and his late wife, Helena Bomett, divorced in 1979.