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Sh300 million splashed on Moi’s funeral

Moi’s casket alone is worth Sh2 million, imported from South Africa

Former President Daniel Moi

Former President Daniel Moi’s state-funded funeral will cost taxpayers at least Sh300 million, the Star has learnt. 

The Jubilee administration is pulling out all the stops to give the country’s longest-serving leader — a political godfather to many, including President Uhuru Kenyatta — a spectacular send-off, the mother of all funerals.

The Star has established that Moi’s casket alone, which arrived on Monday from South Africa, cost about Sh2 million, excluding transport costs.

Moi’s medical bill at Nairobi Hospital alone will be more than Sh100 million. Moi used two presidential rooms and the ICU for the four months he stayed at Nairobi hospital. Each of the rooms goes for Sh98,000 per day.

A big part of the budget has also gone to logistics involving the military, and the National government, including the printing of programmes, condolence books and merchandise. 

People familiar with the budget say a significant amount has also been spent on security, preparing Nyayo Stadium for Tuesday’s prayer service, providing hospitality services in Moi’s Kabarnet Gardens home in Nairobi and Kabarak home in Nakuru.

It is not clear how much the Lee Funeral Home, which has been preparing and storing the body, will charge the government.

In what is perhaps a Kenyan first, the government announced on Monday it will give sodas, bread and bottled water to the first 3000 mourners

A loaf of bread costs around Sh50, a bottle of soda about Sh40 depending on the seller, while a small bottle of water costs an average of Sh50.

This means the three items alone will cost about Sh4.2 million.

“We will have some snacks for the first 30,000  people. They will be given a soda, bread, water and the day’s programme together with a place to sit,” Rift Valley regional coordinator George Natembeya announced.

Natembeya said all school buses in Nakuru county will be availed to ferry people from around the area to Kabarak.

Government vehicles will provide free transport.

By Monday, there were also separate plans by the national government through regional coordinators for Nairobi to offer free transport for mourners to Nyayo Stadium for Tuesday’s funeral service.

In Nakuru, the vehicles are set to begin picking members of the public from as early as 4.30am on Wednesday, a demonstration of the government’s determination to have as many Kenyans as possible attend the burial at no personal cost to them.

So far, the government has spent money upgrading roads leading to Moi’s Sacho home in Kabarak, hiring thousands of chairs and tents to be used during the funeral.

The government is also spending heavily on hundreds of police officers, not just at Nyayo and Kabarak but also along the busy Nairobi-Eldoret highway.  The officers will be paid daily allowances.

With tens of heads of state and government expected to attend Moi’s burial, the government will spend millions of shillings to host and transport the dignitaries from JKIA to Nyayo Stadium and to Kabarak for the burial.

The government has also fuelled police choppers and military VIP transport jets to airlift local and international guests from Nairobi to attend Moi’s final rites in Nakuru on Wednesday.

Burial on Big-Screen

To ease likely complaints about exclusion, the government will also set up big-screen broadcast viewing areas within Nakuru town.

The busy Wilson Airport is expected to be a beehive of activities as VIPs are ferried to Nakuru from Tuesday.

Already, the government has spent a lot of money to refurbish Nyayo Stadium and instal a presidential stand for the hundreds of VIPs.

Big tents have also been erected for ordinary citizens.

To ease likely complaints about exclusion, the government will also set up big-screen broadcast viewing areas within Nakuru town.

Moi’s funeral would be the sixth state burial but the second of its kind with full military and civilian honours, after that of his predecessor Jomo Kenyatta in August 1978.

From the four corners of the world, more than hundreds of dignitaries including heads of state and government are expected to converge in Nyayo and Kabarak.

As many as 10 heads of state, including regional Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Salva Kiir (South Sudan) and Sahle-Work Zewde (Ethiopia) are expected to attend.

In Nairobi, where massive traffic disruptions are expected, the government asked mourners to be seated at Nyayo stadium by 7am on Tuesday.

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the early beginning would ensure that the important exercise would be “seamless’.

“All those Kenyans intending to attend should be there by 7am,” Oguna said as he asked Kenyans to come in their numbers to escort Kenya’s second president.

With the military in charge with their strict time-keeping and punctuality rituals, Kenyans who might be late would be locked out of the memorial service that follows a three-day public viewing of Moi’s body.

The body has been lying in state in Parliament Buildings since Saturday and will be ferried from the Lee Funeral Home Tuesday morning for the funeral service.

Uhuru Highway, Likoni, Bunyala, Valley Road and University Way Roundabout, at the intersection of State House Road will be closed from as early as 6am to allow the cortege carrying Moi’s body to wend its way to Nyayo Stadium.

The roads blocked by police are considered crucial in traffic flow towards Nyayo Stadium for Kenyans and other dignitaries attending the funeral service.

Police have warned motorists against defying traffic control officers and urged drivers to strictly follow instructions to ensure a smooth flow.

“All road users are advised to strictly adhere to the highway code and instructions by traffic [police] officers,” Hillary Mutyambai, the Police IG, said.

Oguna said the body will be ferried Tuesday morning under the escort of the military to the refurbished Nyayo Stadium for the memorial service.

The government has announced that Uhuru Highway, Likoni, Bunyala, Valley Road and University Way Roundabout at the intersection of State House Road will be closed as early as 6am.

Major traffic disruptions are expected on Tuesday along other key roads in the capital city including the busy Nairobi-Eldoret Highway.

Motorists using the Nairobi-Eldoret stretch will be hard hit, with police expected to divert most vehicles to ease the flow for foreign dignitaries and other VIPs.

Traffic disruptions will also affect other roads within the Nakuru municipality as high-profile guests to troop to the town to attend Moi’s burial.

After Tuesday’s funeral service, the body of the man who has been hailed as a political giant will on Tuesday morning be flown to his native Kabarak home for final burial rites that will end the country’s seven-day mourning period.

According to his wishes, Moi will be buried in Sacho, his Kabarket home, next to bt a mixture of military grandiosity and a few Kalenjin tribal customs.

“This is not an ordinary burial, it is a state funeral and the government will fully cater for all the expenses and other indirect overheads. It is a state-funded funeral and must appear like one,” a senior official within the presidency aware of the plans told the Star.

The county is expected to virtually come to a standstill as Kenyans lay to rest one of its iconic leaders.

– https://www.the-star.co.ke

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