Former President Daniel arap Moi had given firm instructions on how his funeral should be conducted, including the type of casket that will carry his body to its final resting place at his Kabarak home tomorrow.
The former President had given his family specifications of the casket which, he said, should not be unnecessarily expensive.
“He was very particular. He insisted that the casket should be made of hardwood, preferably from the mvule tree. He wanted a modest but decent casket,” a source who requested not to be identified is quoted by local publication People Daily.
Besides having stated the design of the casket, the former President is also reported to have requested his family to ensure a quick burial, preferably within a week.
Indeed his burial tomorrow comes nine days after his death at the Nairobi Hospital last Tuesday morning.
Other than giving instructions about his funeral, the former Head of State is also said to have implored his family to reach out to as many of those people he is said to have wronged during his presidency as possible to “iron out his differences with them.”
Retired African Inland Church (AIC) Bishop Silas Yego, whom Moi had appointed to preside over his burial ceremony, seemed to point to this yesterday when he said the family’s major role in the funeral had been to select the casket.
“The funeral steering committee appointed by the government is doing everything. Only the coffin was chosen by the family. But so far, we are happy that the military and the government are respecting the wishes of the former Head of State. They have yielded to almost all the wishes he had made on how his funeral ceremony should be conducted,” he said.
Bishop Yego added: “He was very sincere with the forgiveness he sought from Nyayo Stadium which is the same venue he requested his funeral service to be conducted. Before he died, he had reached out to a number of the people he had wronged, including Raila Odinga and Koigi wa Wamwere. He told his family members to reach out to others.”
Initially, there were plans to import a coffin but the plan was shelved after consultations within the family.
The family felt importing a coffin could have taken some time and would have gone against their father’s wish to be buried within the shortest time possible.
Similarly, the family is said to have wanted to stick to Moi’s wish for a decent modest coffin.
People Daily further reports that Moi’s sons, Raymond and Gideon, selected the casket at Premium Casket Dealers at the Lee Funeral home.
Moi’s custom-made casket is made out of mvule wood and is dark brown cost more than Ksh. 600,000 with accessories factored.
Some of the material to be used was imported from the United Kingdom, including gold plating.
“The family has been monitoring each and every step in the preparation of the casket. They wanted something that will last more than 10 years,” a source at the morgue is quoted.
A swing bar handle, adjustable bed, urn-style corners and crafted detailed finishing are some of the add-on features.
Today, Moi’s body was ferried to Nyayo Stadium by a gun carriage; a tradition that is widely used in State funerals.
The body left Lee Funeral Home at just after 7 a.m and was escorted by the military to Nyayo National Stadium through State House, Nairobi.