‘I wanted to be his farmhand,’ Dr Sally Kosgei talks of her 42-year relationship with Moi


'I wanted to be his farmhand,' Dr Sally Kosgei talks of her 42-year relationship ...

In a glowing tribute to the late former President Daniel arap Moi, former Head of Civil Service Sally Kosgei on Wednesday reminisced of her meeting with Moi and their over 23-year working relationship.

Dr. Kosgei who served under the Moi regime in various capacities says she met Moi in July 1972.

At the time, Moi was serving as the vice president while Dr. Kosgei was at the University of Nairobi and was in need of a job.

She remembers that she was willing to take up any job, including becoming a farmhand at one of Moi’s farms.

“He was very polite. He was surprised that I wanted manual work on a farm,” she said.

Years later, when the fortunes had changed, Kosgei says she turned down Moi’s offer of a London posting and the late President reminded her of their first meeting.

“Moi had a strong memory, he reminded me of our first meeting and the ridiculous t-shirt I had worn, it was yellow and had black writings, I topped it off with an EABL cap with a huge photo of a beer,” she reminisced.

Most notably, she praised the former president for relinquishing power in the run up to the 2002 General Election.

Dr Kosgei, who was at the time the powerful Head of Civil Service, says she was instructed to write in Moi’s inaugural speech that he would be serving his last term.

She remembers the late president as a stickler for time who once fired a Cabinet Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for getting late for a dinner with former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Dr Kosgei worked with Moi for 23 years.

She served as an ordinary civil servant for five years, as an ambassador for six years, as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for 10 years and the Head of Civil Service for two years.

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Story By Tonny Ndungu
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