Moi took over the reins of power in 1978 following the death of the country’s first President Jomo Kenyatta and would later hand over power peacefully to Mwai Kibaki in 2002.

He will receive a 19-gun salute by the Kenyan military before interment on Wednesday at his home in Kabarak, Nakuru County.  

Moi was hospitalized at Nairobi hospital for pleural effusion, a medical condition where excess fluids accumulate around the lungs.

Although many Kenyans have fond memories of Moi as a strong leader who was able to maintain Kenya as an oasis of peace and security in a region of conflicts and violence, his detractors see him as coldly calculating and ruthless. 

Those who were schoolchildren in the days he ruled Kenya in the 1980s credit him for introducing school feeding programs that included milk and other provisions which went a long way to stave off hunger.

This was at the height of the famine which wreaked havoc on neighbouring Ethiopia which promoted a scramble for an international response.

But many Kenyans believe this rather innocuous legacy will be tainted by his government's human rights abuses, state-sanctioned tribal clashes, rampant corruption, political assassinations and mismanagement of a once robust economy. 

Moi was widely seen to be among the first generation of African strongmen who ruled for 24 years with an iron fist and only reluctantly agreed to let his country become a multi-party state in 1991 following domestic and international pressure.

However, Moi has been hailed for ensuring Kenya enjoyed relative peace and stability in a region that was engulfed at the time in political and civil turmoil.

It was Moi's political survival tactics and the wit to fight off serious political challenge, including at the polls which earned him the nickname of "The Professor of politics".

"There was a ruthless streak about his charm and charisma which made friends and foes respect him" said one political observer.

Although since he died many Kenyans have been quoted speaking about him in glowing terms, some among them have not made up their mind where their former leader belongs in their history and how other generations of Kenyans who were too young or were not born during his political dominance of Kenya will prefer to remember him.

Born Toroitich arap Moi on Sept. 2, 1924, in Kuriengwo, in Rift Valley the retired President was orphaned at a tender age after his father, a herdsman, died when the boy was 4.

At the African Mission School at Kabartonjo, Moi became a Christian and adopted the name Daniel.

He graduated from Kapsabet Teacher Training College; from 1945 to 1947, he taught classes, and he was later the headmaster of a government school.

He married Helena Bommet in 1950. 

They had five sons and two daughters, and adopted a third daughter. His wife, known as Lena, died in 2004, and their son Jonathan died last year.

Moi is survived by their sons Gideon, Philip, Raymond and John Mark, and by daughters Jennifer, Doris and June. 

His only brother, William Tuitoek, died in 1995.

Moi worked as a teacher from 1946 until 1955 when he was appointed by the British to the colonial Legislative Council.

Two years later, when black Kenyans were allowed to vote, he was elected Member of the Legislative Council for Rift Valley and together with other independence fighters founded the Kenya African Democratic Union(KADU) in 1960 to challenge Mzee Kenyatta's Kenya African National Union(KANU)

In 1960, he joined a London conference that drew up a Kenyan constitution authorizing African political parties.

He was elected assistant treasurer of the new KANU, the political instrument of independence, which later merged with the rival KADU he helped found and became the sole political party.

In 1957 he was re-elected Member of the Legislative Council for Rift Valley and then as MP for Baringo North in 1961. 

Moi became Minister of Education in the pre-independence government of 1960 to 1961.



JK/abj/APA