Celebrated rally driver Jonathan Toroitich is dead.
Jonathan, son of former President of Kenya Daniel Arap Moi, was pronounced dead in Nakuru Saturday, although the actual cause of his sudden death was not disclosed. He died at 64.
The former president’s press secretary, Lee Njiru, released a press statement confirming Jonathan’s death, but did not disclose the actual cause of death which happened in Nakuru. In a statement, Njiru said the family would be releasing more details soon.
Jonathan will be remembered for his exploits in the Kenya National Rally Championship muddy and dusty routes, during the period of Easter.
Jonathan won the overall 1997 Kenya National Rally Championship title with the late Ibrahim Choge in a Toyota Celica GT4 at the peak of his rallying career.
The two also competed in many editions of the world-famous Safari Rally.
“We are distraught as family and we ask for your prayers and seek your understanding and indulgence to allow us mourn privately,” the statement read in part.
Kenya Motor Sports Federation Chairman Phineas Kimathi said he was shocked to learn of the death of a very humble and prominent former rally driver.
“Jonathan was a real gentleman even when rallying at the highest points of his life. He made lots of friends and never pretended to be a special person in this country. He was humble and polite. We mourn his death with the rest of the family members,” Kimathi said.
Fondly referred to us as JT in the rallying circles, Jonathan won major rounds of the Kenya National Rally Championship at the height of his rallying career.
With Choge, Jonathan won a round of the African Rally Championship by clinching victory in the Kenya’s Caltex Rally.
Years ago, Easter holidays meant one thing in Kenya, the Safari Rally, and it is a coincidence that Jonathan has died during the Easter holiday.
Jonathan’s brother, Baringo County Senator Gideon Moi, said: “Jonathan will be remembered for his daring exploits in the racing tracks, in muddy and dusty tracks, during this time of Easter.” Gideon said the family will keep Kenyans updated on burial arrangements.
He will be remembered as a great sportsman. He was one of Kenya’s leading rally drivers, and was also a farmer.