I have great respect for Kenya’s retired President Moi. The man from Baringo had many faults but he deserves credit for letting go when the time came in 2002 due to a constitutionally mandated term limit. He could have pulled a fast one on Kenya like many a dictator have done on the Continent even in the post-1989 era of pretend democratization. That said, his 24-year tenure was nothing to sing about. Kenya’s per capita income declined under his rule. The 1992 and 1997 election-related ethnic clashes occurred under his watch. Moi played the ethnic card more than any other Kenyan politician on record. Detention without trial was the norm for anyone who dared disagree with baba (father). Moi banned political parties in the early 1908s. In 1988 he rubbished the secret ballot and required that voters queue behind their preferred candidates. In short, Moi’s Kenya was nowhere near being a liberal democracy.
So when the former president runs around Kenya being characteristically anti-reform by campaigning against the proposed constitution and claiming that “I was not a dictator. People wanted peace” we can only sit back and ask: really Mr. Moi, really?