Nairobi, 06 February, 2020 / 3:49 am (ACI Africa).
Kenya’s President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi who passed on Tuesday, February 4 will be remembered not only for being the longest serving president of the East African country but also for hosting the highest number of Papal visits in the nation.
News of the demise of former President Moi who died at the age of 95 was announced through a Presidential proclamation by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday morning.
“It is with profound sadness and sorrow that I announce the passing of a Great African Statesman, H.E. Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, the Second President of the Republic of Kenya,” Kenya’s President announced.
During his tenure between 1978 and 2002, the late retired president hosted the late Pope John Paul II three times, that is, when the Pontiff toured Kenya for the first time in 1980, the second time in 1985 and finally in 1995. Former President Moi also witnessed Pope Francis’ pastoral visit to Kenya in 2015, his maiden trip to Africa.
Pope John Paul II, while visiting Kenya for the first time in May 1980 and after kissing the ground upon arrival was greeted by Moi, senior government officials, and members of the diplomatic corps. And while addressing hundreds of thousands of people in Kenya’s Uhuru (freedom) Park in his maiden speech, the Pope urged the Catholics in Africa to adhere to the church's strictures on abortion, sterilization, and polygamy.