Just a few weeks before his death, Kenya’s first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta called his then Vice President Daniel Moi to Nakuru State Lodge.
As told by Kenyatta’s information officer who rose to become Moi’s Press Secretary, Lee Njiru, Mzee had asked his VP whether he could avail two goats for slaughter.
Moi immediately sent for two male goats that were brought from his Kabarak farm by his security team.
The animals were then slaughtered and blood was poured into the ground.
“In Kikuyu tradition, shedding of animal blood is symbolic of friendship and if there is an existing friendship, cementing it. Those who saw that ceremony said President Kenyatta was passing the baton of leadership to Moi,” narrated Njiru.
Recalling the moments before Mzee Kenyatta passed on, Njiru stated that the president had given away signs that all was not well with him.
“While opening the Mombasa Show, at the end of the written speech where it was written ‘Thank You’ he said ‘Amen’,” recalled Njiru.
As Mzee was being shown to his room, something unusual happened. He became breathless and had to stop and rest on the staircase steps.
After resting in his room, he resumed his duties and was supposed to join envoys to Msambweni Primary School for entertainment.
The journey was however cut short midway and the President had to be rushed back to State House after he collapsed before he was pronounced dead the following day.
“That morning I received a call at Mickey’s Hotel where I was staying in Mombasa and I was told to report to Mombasa State House immediately.
“I took a taxi and upon reaching State House, I found an ambulance and recalling how I had seen Kenyatta during the day I knew something bad had happened,” concluded Njiru while referring to Mzee’s demise.
Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died on August 22, 1978, in Mombasa, Kenya out of natural causes.