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Moi's demise should goad Kenyans to reflect on economic and political past -- and future


<b>Moi's demise should goad Kenyans to reflect on economic and political past -- and future</b>In reality, Daniel arap Moi is another chapter in Africa's history of repression and failure.
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Former Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi died last Saturday,February 4, 2020 at age 95. Moi ruled Kenya for 24 years -- from 1978 to 2002 --with an iron grip and political opponents were routinely detained and tortured during his presidency. He ruthlessly dealt with political opponents and was accused of overseeing a programme of torture and killings. Moi took power promising peace, love and unity, but ended up mired in graft scandals, stifling democracy and fanning the dangerous embers of tribalism. He lost opportunity to lift Kenya out of the political and economic mess it had sunk into by the time he took power in 1978. Kenya under Jomo Kenyatta had morphed into just another corrupt and deeply tribal African country. The legacy of Daniel arap Moi still haunts Kenya. The former strongman was responsible for repression, corruption and ethnic favouritism. Endemic corruption in the post-colonial government of Kenya has a history which spans the era of the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi's KANU governments, Mwai Kibaki's PNU government and the current Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubillee Party government. Kenya is ranked 139th out of 176 countries for corruption, tied with Azerbaijan, Nepal, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Most bribes paid by urban residents in Kenya are fairly small but large ones are also taken -- bribes worth over 50,000 Kenyan shillings (€600, US$700) account for 41% of the total value. There is also corruption on a larger scale with each of the last two regimes being criticised for their involvement. Like Kenyatta, Moi failed to grasp the almost impossible task of creating a nation-state from a multitude of ethnic nationalities.  Moi's rule was typified by economic stagnation and his government was so corrupt that the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank stopped lending to Kenya. At the 2002 elections, from which Moi was constitutionally barred, he was a target of derision and his car pelted with mud. His Kanu party was routed. At the ceremony in which he handed over power to Mwai Kibaki, the crowd was openly hostile to Moi.

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