Elevation of Gideon sets stage for a titanic battle for the control of politics in Rift Valley between him and DP William Ruto
Kanu branches and officials in the Rift Valley have backed the move by retired President Moi’s family to hand over the leadership baton to Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
Branch officials said the move would give Kanu a new face and political muscle countrywide. Gideon is Kanu party leader.
“With Gideon now properly at the helm, Kanu is now the party to watch because we know he was holding back at the time Mzee Moi was ailing but now that the family made the decision we support him fully,” Elgeyo Marakwet Kanu chairman Paul Kibet said.
He said Kanu will be more active in the country’s political arena and they will back Gideon for the presidency in 2022.
The elevation of Gideon has set stage for a titanic battle for the control of politics in Rift Valley between him and DP William Ruto who is the senior most politician in the region currently. Ruto has declared his interest to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022.
KIbet said Gideon, like any other Kenyan, had the right to seek political office at any level. They saw no problem with Ruto seeking the same top seat come the next election.
Kibet spoke in Eldoret in the company of Kanu chairman for Uasin Gishu David Chepsiror along with Kanu representatives from Nandi, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot.
A section of Kalenjin elders have however asked Ruto to reconcile with Gideon in honour of retired President Moi.
The elders said such a move would 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 that led to political tensions in the recent past over the BBI process.
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.