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 Monday, 13 January, 2003, 10:08 GMT
Kenya's ex-president back in town
Daniel arap Moi
Daniel arap Moi seems keen to retain a public role

Former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi made his first public appearance on Sunday, vowing that he would play an active role in Kenyan life.

Two weeks ago, Mr Moi retired after 24 years as Kenya's leader.

Open in new window : Moi in pictures
President Moi's career from his youth to the last days of his presidency.

The elections at the end of December gave a landslide victory to the opposition leader, Mwai Kibaki.

Previously, one of Africa's longest-serving leaders and the continent's "big men", Mr Moi has plenty to keep him busy in retirement.

No pottering

On the day of Mr Kibaki's inauguration, there were no fond farewells for the departing leader.

Daniel arap Moi was jeered and had mud slung at his car.

But afterwards, many Kenyans felt this treatment of the former president to be shameful.

They thought whatever wrongs had been done under his leadership, he had the right to retire with dignity.

Mwai Kibaki failed to be elected in 1992 and 1997
It was third time lucky for Kibaki

But it seems Mr Moi does not plan to spend his remaining days pottering around on his farm in the Rift Valley.

Last week, even as President Kibaki was settling into State House, Mr Moi was back in the capital, settling into his private office.

During his leadership, he was renowned for his energy, rising early and working late into the night.

That pattern, it seems, will continue.

Party role?

Like many other retired heads of state, he wants to retain an international profile.

Through his new Moi Foundation, the former president will stay engaged in the regional peace initiatives in Somalia and Sudan.

He may also find time for more relaxing pursuits.

He is a keen farmer; the Kenyan armed forces gave him a new plough and tractor as one of his retirement gifts.

Uhuru Kenyatta campaigning in December
Will Kenyatta and Moi work together?

A committed Christian, he also indicated that he might like to take up lay preaching.

More controversial is his continuing chairmanship of the former ruling party.

The opposition leader, Uhuru Kenyatta, has said his goal is to rebuild Kanu from the ashes of his crushing defeat.

It is not clear how much of a free hand he will have to do this, with Mr Moi still at the helm of the party.

Kenyans choose a new president

Key stories

Inauguration day

Moi steps down

Background

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See also:

03 Jan 03 | Business
03 Jan 03 | Africa
30 Dec 02 | Africa
29 Dec 02 | Media reports
04 Jan 03 | Country profiles
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