Kenneth Matiba: How Matiba made Moi cry in front of powerful officials

Former President Daniel arap Moi

Moi's emotional moment

Former Cabinet Minister Kenneth Matiba will go down as a bold politician who took on the struggle for multi-party democracy at a great cost to his personal health and wealth.

Matiba will also be remembered as perhaps the only politician who made President Daniel arap Moi to lose his cool and almost cry in public.

The departed politician, alongside his friend Charles Rubia, headlined the famous Saba Saba rally that was held on 7th of July 1990.


A day before the rally, Matiba and Rubia were picked up by security forces but their colleagues insisted that the rally would go on.

The rally eventually materialised but degenerated into an almost four-day riot in which at least 24 died, many more were injured and there was massive destruction of property.

President Moi had flow to Mombasa and when he finally landed in Nairobi, a journalist was able to record the strong man's moment of weakness.


Moi had landed on a secluded area of JKIA and upon receiving a report of what had transpired, he is reported to have had an emotional breakdown on the tarmack.

Sam Ouma captured images of the President Moi crying and later being supported and guided into his limousine.

Unfortunately, Ouma’s photos were not only never published, they soon mysteriously disappeared from a major newspaper’s photographic library, including all the negatives.

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