FACTIONALISM

Newly crowned Gideon dying to roll back Ruto gains in the Rift

A group of Talai elders dismisses DP ritual, saying their family is the only one allowed to preside over the ceremony.

In Summary

• Christopher Koiyoki, a renegade Talai elder, this time round Talai elders ferried the tools of the trade to Kabarak, Nakuru county.

• Gideon's coronation caught other Talai elders off-guard. They only learnt about it on social media.

Talai elder Christopher Koiyoki in Kapsabet on Friday on arrival from coronation of Senator Gideon Moi in Kabarak
Talai elder Christopher Koiyoki in Kapsabet on Friday on arrival from coronation of Senator Gideon Moi in Kabarak
Image: Barry Salil

Talai elders are split in the middle following the coronation of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi at his Kabarak home on Friday morning.

Unlike the new year incident in which he was blocked from accessing the home of Christopher Koiyoki, a renegade Talai elder, this time round Talai elders ferried the tools of the trade to Kabarak, Nakuru county.

Gideon's coronation caught other Talai elders off-guard. They only learnt about it on social media. The senator was crowned with a cap made of lion skin symbolising Talai totem. He sat on a four-legged stool, with his feet stepping on a lion skin that symbolises power.

Koiyoki, who was the vice-chair of the Talai elders, was expelled after he dismissed Ruto's coronation although he had been part of the planning of the ceremony at Kapsisywa.

He said the Gideon ceremony was different from that carried out for Deputy President William Ruto at Kapsisywo in June 2020 at the home of retired Anglican priest James Baasi, insisting that only his family lineage confers such power.

“I brought on board all elders from Kapturgat family because it’s our lineage that processes power to bless; we are the custodian of all the instruments of the trade,” he said.

He spoke to the Star on arrival from Kabarak, remaining upbeat about the senator's future. Gideon will succeed in all his political endeavours following the rite, Koiyoki said.

However, in a swift rejoinder, the Talai council of elders chairman, Rev James Baasi, and organising secretary Christopher Agui dismissed the ceremony as inconsequential, saying Ruto had been blessed already.

“The ceremony for Ruto was blessed by all the five families that make up Talai, hence any other is nothing but a mockery of Laibonism,” Agui said.

He said all Talai coronation ceremonies must be carried out at Kapsisywa in Nandi, and those conducted anywhere else are null and void.

But Koiyoki dismissed the assertion, saying his grandfather, the late Barsirian arap Manyei, coronated Mzee Jomo Kenyatta at State House, Nakuru, in 1964.