Moi's death closes chapter on veteran Rift leaders

Too, Biwott, Bargetuny, Chesire and others who controlled politics in Rift Valley

In Summary

• Moi was the kingpin and surrounded himself with powerful men, instructing them how to pull the strings in the region. 

• Young leaders today were mentored by Moi and his circle.

A mourner signs the condolence book during the burial of Mark Too in Eldoret. He died on December 31, 2016.
MOI ALLY : A mourner signs the condolence book during the burial of Mark Too in Eldoret. He died on December 31, 2016.

The death of President Daniel virtually ends the chapter of powerful individuals who controlled politics and much else in Rift Valleyfor many years.

As head of state for 24 years and the kingpin of Rift Valley politics, Moi was always surrounded by powerful politicians whom he relied on to pull strings and control issues in the region and nationally.

Many of them who were younger than Moi passed on before him and the region now has the younger generation that came on stage after Moi retired.


Moi died on Tuesday at the age of 95.

Those who passed on and were part of Moi’s inner cycle in the region included former powerful minister Nicholas Biwott and former nominated MP Mark  Too who died two years ago.

Others were former assistant minister and Eldoret North MP Reuben Chesire, former nominated MP Ezekiel Bargetuny along with former Kabarnet town mayor Philemon Chelagat, Nakuru politician Kihika Kimani and Jackson Kibor, among others.

“These are the people who shaped politics and general life in Rift Valley since independence and the death of Moi is like the closure of a generation and a chapter in this region," Kanu official Paul Kibet said.

He says Moi had developed a network of leaders across the county on whom he relied in many ways during his leadership.

“He was so close to them that it reached a point where he could not travel even outside the country without some of them like Biwott, Bargetuny or Chelagat,” Kibet said.

Cheranganyi MP Joshua Kuttuny says Moi and these leaders mentored almost all the current leaders in the Rift Valley region.


“Moi literally made and shaped matters in Rift Valley. The region has lost a father whose shoes are extra large and no one can fit in," Kuttuny said.

He recalls that many of the old generation leaders were not well schooled yet they had wisdom, courage and strength accomplish many things as leaders.

Kuttuny says Moi was a real “professor of politics” because he understood the dynamics of politics and all other issues in each of the country’s region.

“We are grateful to have had him as a leader, his legacy will live on forever after his death," he said.

One of the few remaining Moi-era strongmen is former Nandi politician Henry Kosgey. Kosgey has mourned the death of Moi terming him as his mentor in life.

“He was simply a great leader. Very wise and visionary," Kosgey said.

Kibet says the region's current political leaders headed by Deputy President William Ruto owe their mentoring and upbringing to Moi.

NandiGovernor Stephen Sang says that even as a young leader he knows that Moi has left a rich legacy and his wisdom has had a positive impact on people's lives.

“We have a lot to learn from Mzee Moi as young leaders especially his wisdom in leadership," Sang said.

Kibet and other Kanu leaders including David Chepsiror said Kenyans should celebrate Moi’s life.

(Edited by V. Graham)