Former President Daniel Moi’s longest serving presidential officer, Leonard Yator Arap Chomber, died on Thursday.
According his first wife, Christine, Yator died of heart complications at a hospital in Eldoret.
Yator, who served in the elite Presidential Escort Unit, started serving in the presidential escort detail after independence in 1963.
Prior to his appointment to the president’s unit, Yator, who joined the police force at the age of 20 years in 1952, was a driver in the police service.
He later would be deployed to President Jomo Kenyatta’s escort team as a driver.
The officer once narrated how he had been assigned the duty of dropping and picking President Kenyatta’s son, Uhuru, to school from their Gatundu home.
He is noted to have been a very common figure in all presidential tours locally and abroad during retired President Daniel arap Moi’s era.
After a long time serving, the deceased retired in 2000 at the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police.
He served under several presidential escort commanders among them Ellijah Sumbeiywo, Charles Kimurgor, Stanley Kiptum Manyinya and Samson Cherambos.
Upon his death, his senior Cherambos described him as a trusted officer who worked with dedication and offered services to the country under several commander.
Cherambos noted: “He was a special civil servant who was disciplined and trusted. We have lost one of the longest serving civil servants who was also honest in his service.”
Speaking of his father’s death, Rhoda Yator, his last born daughter described her father as a conservative, who spoke little but loved his duties under retired President Moi.
Kesses MP Swarup Misra expressed his sadness over the loss of a man he described as a “great icon.”
“On my own behalf and on behalf of my great people of Kesses constituency, I want to convey my heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and the entire nation for the fall of a great icon.”
Yator has left two widows, seven children and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
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