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The emotional question Matiba & his wife wanted to ask Mzee Moi

The other side of Mzee Moi

The emotional question Kenneth Matiba & his wife Edith always wanted to ask Mzee Daniel arap Moi

Former Cabinet Minister the late Kenneth Stanley Njindo Matiba is one of the Kenyan politicians who suffered most under the late President Daniel arap Moi’s regime.

Although Moi and Matiba had been great personal and family friends in the 1960s and 70s, the relationship between the two leaders took a dive during the struggle for multiparty democracy.

Matiba was imprisoned on President Moi's orders, suffered a stroke while in detention, but was denied treatment for three days until he suffered a second stroke.

In a past interview with the Nation, Matiba’s wife, Edith Matiba noted that she had overcome the bitterness that came from what President Moi had done to her husband.

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In the emotional interview, Edith, however, stated that the only question that bothered her was why Moi had persecuted her husband.

She added that since Kenneth’s detention, she had only met the former President on two occasion and in very brief encounters that she did not get a chance to question him.

I have no bitterness. But I keep on...(pauses and looks out to sea) asking ‘Why? Why did he do this? It’s a question I can’t answer. And I wish I have an opportunity to ask him. I have met him twice,” Edith asked in 2013.

Incidentally, it was the same question that Matiba had always wanted to ask Moi - according to Edith.

"When Ken was still articulate, he said ‘if ever I get a chance to see Moi, I will ask him, why did you detain me?’ But I think detention saved him from worse. If he wasn’t detained, Ken would have been killed," Edith said of her husband's wish.

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Matiba passed on in 2019 before he could meet his oppressor and former friend.

It is unclear if Edith was able to meet the late Moi who passed on on February 3rd.

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