DEPUTY President William Ruto has launched a personal attack on Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, claiming the Senator for Baringo is uncircumcised at age 52. “We are Kalenjins, these guys making noise all around, castigating me, should know that we supported arap Moi for him to become President.
“Kalenjins stood by him shoulder-to-shoulder, until he became President, so this uncircumcised son of arap Moi should not bring us his stupidity by telling us that we cannot support other Kalenjin leaders from other families . . . tell them to leave us, to stop playing with us,” said Ruto in Belgut, speaking in the vernacular.
Below is the transcribed audio
"...We are Kalenjins, these guys making noise around, castigating me should know that we supported arap Moi (former President Daniel Moi) to become President. Kalenjins stood by him shoulder to shoulder until he became President so this uncircumcised son of arap Moi should not bring us his stupidity, telling us we cannot support other Kalenjin leaders from other families. All Kalenjins supported his father until he retired and now they are telling us we should not support others from another family. Tell them to leave us, to stop playing with us... and tell the one here (south Rift) that Kalenjins will not be divided. If you are man enough, then lead undivided Kalenjins - don't divide them on the basis of North Rift and South Rift. I told him we should build a university in Bomet but he said no, it should be built in Sigor. When we agreed on Sigor, he changed his mind again. Anyone who has decided to divide us (Kalenjins) has no end. I, Ruto, as I address you here, my father, arap Samoei Cheruiyot was born in Kiptere (Sigowet/Soin subcounty, Kericho), Kapkomosek clan. Am I a Nandi or Kipsigis? Are Nandis and Kipsigis relatives or not? Even if I speak Nandi dialect and the blood belong to Kipsigis, do I belong to Kalenjin or not? Then someone who is stupid, who cannot differentiate between yesterday and tomorrow, tells us Kipsigis and Nandis should part ways. Listen to me people of Rift Valley, we must remain united and speak in one voice."
Circumcision is a big thing in the Kalenjin community and those who do not undergo the cut in boyhood are not seen as men, or leaders, are not respected and not allowed to sit with elders and make decisions, among other things.
The Deputy President is fighting to retain his hold on the Rift Valley vote bloc, in the face of a resurgent Kanu, which now backs URP rebels led by Governor Isaac Rutto, putting up a fierce fight for the Kericho senatorial by-election. Ruto’s Jubilee lost the Nyangores Ward by-election last week to a Rutto candidate backed by Gideon.
In Belgut Ruto also tore into the Bomet governor, accusing him of dividing the Kalenjins. “Tell the one here [in the South Rift] that Kalenjins will not be divided...if you are man enough, then lead undivided Kalenjins, don’t divide them on the basis of North Rift and South Rift. “I told him we build a university in Bomet, he said no, it should be built in Sigor. We agreed on Sigor, he changed his mind – again,” said Ruto. For the first time ever, Ruto, the former Eldoret North MP, revealed that his roots are in Kipsigis and not Nandi.
“I Ruto, as I address you here, my father, arap Samoei Cheruiyot, was born in Kiptere (Sigowet/Soin sub-county, Kericho county), of the Kapkomosek Clan. Am I a Nandi or Kipsigis? “Nandis and Kipsigis are relatives, or not? Even if I speak the Nandi dialect and the blood belongs to Kipsigis, do I belong to Kalenjin, or not? Then someone is telling us that Kipsigis and Nandis should part ways, someone who is stupid; who cannot differentiate between yesterday and tomorrow. “Listen to me, people of Rift Valley, we must remain united and speak in one voice,” said Ruto in the Nandi dialect.
The DP also held private meetings with his close allies and advisers in the Rift Valley as Kanu’s resurgence in the region has caused a major split in his camp. The DP’s camp is severely shaken by the prospect of a Kanu victory in the Kericho by-election. Since Friday, Ruto has met with political leaders and advisers to discuss how to push back the former ruling party’s wave in the region.
There are also growing fears that Gideon is using the mini polls to position himself for a major battle with the DP in next year’s polls. Gideon has also met with his Kanu officials and allies in the region, urging them to prepare for a major rollout of Kanu activities after the March 7 by-election.