Former President Daniel arap Moi was renowned for governing the nation with an iron grip, particularly following the failed coup attempt in August 1982 when a faction of the Kenya Airforce attempted to overthrow him.
He allied himself with the people with same vision for the nation and their party who would support him in advancing his goal.
Nicholas Biwott, aka "the Total Man," was one such individual.
Maria Soti and his father Cheserem welcomed Biwott into the world in 1940 in Chebior Village, Keiyo District, Rift Valley Province.
The Daily Nation reported that his close association with the person of Moi was the cause of his mystical aura. The two had first met in the 1950s, when Biwott attended Tambach Government School in North Rift as Moi's primary school student.
He attended Tambach Government School from 1951 to 1954, when he met Moi, before transferring to Kapsabet High School from 1955 to 1958.
When he had the chance to study at George Taylor University in Melbourne, Australia, Biwott quit his employment at the Department of Information in Eldoret, where he had begun working in 1959.
He studied at the University of Melbourne in Australia from February 1962 to December 1964 for his Bachelor of Commerce and his Diploma in Public Administration.
Returning to Kenya in 1964, Biwott took a position in the office of the country's founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, and worked in a variety of other government positions before becoming Moi's personal assistant in 1972.
Biwott maintained a safe distance from the fire, staying neither too close to get burned nor too far to freeze, unlike others like Charles Njonjo, GG Kariuki, Simeon Nyachae and Hezekiah Oyugi who ventured too close and ended up getting burned.
According to the Daily Nation, Biwott had taken away from Machiavelli two key lessons that had aided him on his path to the top: the first was that power isn't always what it seems to be and the second was that in a game of power, being feared was preferable to being loved.
Eliud Mahihu, a former provincial commissioner, expressed interest in having his memoirs published in serial form by The Nation newspaper in late 2001.
Biwott had pulled him aside at the State House's Jamhuri Day luncheon and said, "I know you're writing a book and saying some bad things about me. Just know that we have the ability to compose and tell our own stories.
We can also determine that nobody will read your book!
In order to find out how Biwott had learned about the book, the alarmed Mahihu called Wangethi Mwangi, the then-editorial director of the Nation.
The rewritten manuscript, in which all references to Biwott had been eliminated, was returned by the former PC three weeks later.
Despite this perception, the majority of Kanu insiders said that Biwott was a straightforward individual, hence the fear factor was unwarranted.
According to politician GG Kariuki, "You should know that all of the dread people have about Biwott is completely unfounded. He is aware of and enjoys being scared. Actually, he makes an effort to create it.
"His boss likes it that way, too, where there is someone to bear the cross for all the failings of his government."
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