In Summary
  • The main proponents of the then anti-Moi campaign were a clique of Gema politicians led by the late  Njenga Karume and Kihika Kimani.

  • This Nakuru meeting caused a stir all over the country and spread alarm among Moi’s supporters.

  • Moi eventually succeeded Mzee Kenyatta following his demise on August 22, 1978.

The debate to change the 2010 Constitution ahead of the 2022 General Election evokes memories of the clamour in the mid 1970s to change the law in order to block then Vice President Daniel Moi from succeeding Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

The main proponents of the then anti-Moi campaign were a clique of Gema politicians led by the late  Njenga Karume and Kihika Kimani.

They wanted the supreme document amended so that either the Head of the Civil Service, the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chief Justice would assume the Presidency in the event of Mzee Kenyatta’s death, albeit on a temporary, 90-day basis.

In his autobiography “Beyond Expectations: From Charcoal to Gold” Mr Karume detailed how the idea of change the Constitution movement was conceived on a flight to Europe between him and Mr Kimani.

Kimani had no idea that the law was on Moi’s side in the event Mzee Kenyatta died and they immediately hatched a plan to change it.

FIRST MEETING

Here is an excerpt: “The first meeting of the “Change the Constitution Movement” was held in Nakuru in 1976. Thousands of Kenyans attended and leaders from various tribes addressed the crowd.

They spoke unflatteringly of Moi’s style of leadership and told the people that the person who would take over from Kenyatta should be a strong character who could steer the country forward. They depicted Moi as the antithesis of this person and urged wananchi to support their goal of changing the Constitution.

“Let me tell you people,” Paul Ngei, then Minister for Cooperatives and Housing, told the crowds in Afraha Stadium, “If my wife, Emma, and I were to go to State House and I was in the acting capacity of President for three months, I would never get out for any other person to occupy the seat. Not even the strongest animal in the world would pull me out of there.”

This Nakuru meeting caused a stir all over the country and spread alarm among Moi’s supporters.

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