PAY HOMAGE

Kalenjin elders want Ruto, Gideon to reconcile in Moi's honour

They said Ruto and Gideon are the key political leaders in the community, hence should unite instead of having political differences that divide the community

In Summary

• Moi had been the Kalenjin kingpin from pre-Independence days to December 2002 when he retired as president.

They have welcomed respect and honour given to Moi by being accorded state burial

Kalenjin elders led by Isaac Rono (R) during a meeting in Eldoret on June 5 last year
Kalenjin elders led by Isaac Rono (R) during a meeting in Eldoret on June 5 last year
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Kalenjin elders have asked DP William Ruto to reconcile with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in honour of retired President Daniel Moi.

In mourning the former head of state, who died on Tuesday, they said such a move would also promote unity within the community. Moi had been the Kalenjin kingpin from pre-Independence days to December 2002 when he retired as president.

The elders, led by Anderson Kipkoech and Isaac Rono, also want all other leaders to end deep-rooted politics of hatred, which had led by unnecessary political tensions in the recent past over the BBI process.

"Moi has been our leader as a community and as a nation for long. His passing away provides an opportunity for leaders across the board to reflect on their role and learn from the many good things he did for this country," Kipkoech said.

Rono said Ruto and Gideon are the key political leaders in the community, hence should unite instead of having political differences that divide Kalenjins.

The elders said Moi was the pillar that held the community together and urged the current generation of leaders to emulate the former head of state who cared about the welfare of other people.

"Moi used leadership to unite our people and initiated many projects that will forever be useful to Kenyans. He had wise leadership and a great vision," elder Joseph Kimitei said.

They said they recognise both Ruto and Gideon as leaders but demanded that they provide mature and focused leadership in honour of Mzee Moi. Rono said they were ready to help reconcile the two if called upon.

They want the community to closely work with others in the country for national unity. They said political differences between Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga should also be sorted out to help cement unity in the country.

"We welcome efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta to unite all Kenyans but urge that no one is left out of the BBI process or other matters that affect Kenyans," Rono said.

The elders said it was acceptable for leaders to have varied opinions or differences on many issues but such should not be personal or tribal or be a threat to national unity. They welcomed the directive by President Kenyatta to have the military take over Moi’s burial plans, noting that the former president was an international leader deserving such respect and honour.

"As elders, we will play our role during the burial to be led by the military. Moi, as an elder, was one of our own but we fully support the government plans for his befitting send-off," Rono said.