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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,10TH FEB,2020-The government plans to close major roads in Nairobi and Nakuru from Tuesday when a memorial service for the retired president the late Daniel arap Moi who died last week aged 95 shall be held.
The memorial service to be held at the Nyayo stadium will follow a three-day public viewing of his body in Parliament where it lay in state since Saturday.
On Tuesday, Uhuru Highway, Likoni, Bunyala, Valley Road and University Way roundabout, at the intersection of State House road will be closed from 6am.
“All road users are advised to strictly adhere to the highway code and instructions by traffic [police] officers,” said Hillary Mutyambai, the Inspector-General of Police.
The body of the late president who towered over Kenya between 1978 and 2002 will be escorted from Lee Funeral Home, through Uhuru Highway to Nyayo Stadium, by the military guard and will drawn on a gun carriage and wrapped in the national flag.
Kenyans were advised to be seated in Nyayo Stadium from 7am, in time for the spectacular ceremony that will have a mix of military and civilian protocols.
Motorists were also warned to expect disruptions on the Nairobi-Eldoret highway, which will be closed to trucks and lorries.
Mutyambai said the highway will be closed from Tuesday 12 pm to Wednesday at 7 pm.
“It is for public safety because of the movement we expect to and from Moi’s home in Kabarak,” the IG said, “we must all ensure we give our former president a befitting send-off.”
Thousands of Kenyans have been lining up to Parliament to view the body of the former leader, who was mourned by President Uhuru Kenyatta as a “true national leader who mentored many, including myself.”
Kenyatta led the public viewing on Saturday, followed by his deputy William Ruto, Cabinet ministers and other leaders who paused, bowed and some saluted as they passed by the Moi’s body that lay in state atop a velvet green plinth.
Dressed in a black suit, the body was placed on a bier in the foyer of the National Assembly, near the entrance to the chambers.
Those who saw his body said he appeared as if he was peacefully asleep, with his head lifted on a green pillow, hands straight and his legs taken apart.
He had a tie on and a fresh rose flower, just like he dressed when he was alive, governing Kenya with an iron fist.
Standing next to his body were six military officers in ceremonial uniform, with their swords inverted. A parliamentary orderly said Moi’s grandchildren have been taking turns to stand next to Moi’s body that has been viewed by thousands.
One flag was placed next to his foot and another near his shoulder. Both were folded and lay diagonally against the plinth on which Moi lay.
Moi’s bible, a hymn book, and his trademark rungu were placed next to an official red chair with the official coat of arms, perhaps the one he used on his last day in office as Kenya’s president.
There was also his ceremonial military uniform complete with a hat and boots, having been the Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces which is now known as the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).