Life Under Ex-President Daniel Moi: The Good and Bad


Life Under Ex-President Daniel Moi: The Good and Bad

By Rahab Mbiriti / February 4, 2020 | 10:06 am

Daniel Moi

“Na hio ni maendeleo,” is one of the most vivid things I remember about the ex-president Mzee Daniel Moi.

Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi came to power after the then president Mzee Jomo Kenyatta passed on in August 1978. He became President after running unopposed.

He ruled for a record 24 years before being ousted by Mwai Kibaki in 2002.

Today, 4th February 2020, marks the end of an era and legacy, after Daniel Moi breathed his last at the age of 95.

Here is how life was under President Daniel Moi:

Harambee Nyayo!

Daniel Arap Moi is popularly known to Kenyans as “Nyayo,” a Swahili word for “footsteps.”

He championed what he called “Nyayo philosophy,” which means following the leader and is, he claimed to be following the footsteps of the first Kenyan president, Jomo Kenyatta.

Song and Dance

Daniel Moi’s presidency was marked with a lot of songs and dance performances where he hired skilled bands to perform during all his appearances.

Children and adults all performed for him and sang songs of praises for the president and for Kenya.

Maziwa ya Nyayo

No one can forget the free school milk day that was offered during the Moi era.

Daniel Moi was a teacher before getting into politics and thus saw the importance of giving school-going children free milk.

Moi Day

Moi day, celebrated every 20th day of October, was a day that was set aside in Kenya to celebrate Moi’s achievements as the second president of the nation.

Moi Day was, however, removed from the list of national holidays following the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.


The 1982 Kenyan coup d’état attempt was a failed attempt to overthrow President Daniel Arap Moi’s government.

At 3 A.M. on Aug. Sunday, 1 August 1982, a group of soldiers from the Kenya Air Force took over Eastleigh Air Base just outside Nairobi, and by 4 A.M. the nearby Embakasi airbase had also fallen.

Single-party state

After the failed attempt to overthrow his government, the main conspirators in the coup, including Ochuka, were sentenced to death, marking the last judicial executions in Kenya.

He appointed supporters to key roles and changed the constitution to establish a de jure single-party state.

Nyayo House Torture Chambers

For years, Kenyans whispered about the Nyayo House torture chambers, hidden in the basement of a 26-story government building in Nairobi’s bustling city center.

Under President Moi’s leadership, thousands of political activists, academics, students, and artists were arrested and held in dark, water-logged cells for weeks on end with little food or drinking water.

About Rahab Mbiriti

Rahab Mbiriti is an Experienced Research Specialist working for Sokodirectory with a passion for collecting data, breaking down data and analyzing it for easy consumption. Rahab also has a passion for writing Business and Economic oriented articles.To reach her, email her on [email protected]

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