2022 POLITICS

Ruto-Gideon rivalry plays out as Kanu leader's coronation aborts in Nandi

Gideon left Nandi for Uasin Gishu to attend a funeral in Moiben constituency after the initial mission aborted.

In Summary

• Gideon was headed for a dawn meeting with the Talai clan elders in Nandi, who in June last year met with Ruto and blessed him as the Kalenjin spokesman and leader.

• The incident is expected to intensify the rivalry between him and Ruto over the control of the Kalenjin ahead of the 2022 polls.

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in Nandi on January 2, 2021.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in Nandi on January 2, 2021.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi was on Saturday blocked from accessing the venue of his planned coronation by the Talai elders in Nandi leading to the cancellation of the event.

Gideon left Nandi for Uasin Gishu to attend a funeral in Moiben constituency after the initial mission aborted.

“We have left Nandi, which was not our main event in this region although the elders had invited him,” Gideon's spokesman said.

He said the Kanu leader was invited for blessings by Nandi elders while on his meet the people tour in the area.

"But as he headed to the venue, where the elders were waiting, he came across rowdy youth [at Kapsisiywa] who blocked him. He, however, continued with the tour where he interacted with the locals,” the spokesperson said in a text message to the Star.

Mzee Christopher Koyogi, at whose home the ceremony was to take place, condemned the incident.

“That is uncouth behaviour and uncalled for in an era where people have the right to enjoy freedom of association,” Mzee Koyogi said.

He said the youth had been incited by Gideon’s rivals. “We will still coronate him as a Kalenjin leader,” he said.

Gideon was headed for a dawn meeting with the Talai clan elders in Nandi, who in June last year met with Deputy President William Ruto and blessed him as the Kalenjin spokesman and leader.

The incident is expected to intensify the rivalry between him and Ruto over the control of the Kalenjin ahead of the 2022 polls.

Gideon and his team arrived in the area at about 4am in a convoy of more than four cars. The youths had, however, blocked the road at Kimondi on the Sangalo-Kabiyet route.

They said they would not allow Gideon to the area because the community blessings had already been given to Ruto last year.

Gideon had to personally talk to the youth and urged them not to be rowdy as he had the right to visit the region like any other Kenyan. He later met with a section of the elders.

Professionals from the Talai community led by Barnabas Kipyego Korir accused Gideon of disrespecting them yet they had for many years supported former President Daniel Moi, his father.

“Gideon Moi and his family should reciprocate for the support the Nandi people gave his father for 24 years as president and other years as vice president by supporting the DP."

"It’s unfortunate that Gideon could seek the blessings of Talai knowing that the DP has been given the blessings by the entire Kalenjin community. This should serve as a lesson to any leader who aspires to be considered that DP is currently the only person representing the interests of the entire community,” Korir said.

Reports indicate Gideon's visit to the region had been in the offing and on learning about it on Friday night, hundreds of youth mobilized to block the tour.

Some Kanu insiders, however, said allies of Gideon had not consulted before organising the tour.

“The visit was quite unnecessary and some people must have misled our party boss. There should have been better planning,” a senior Kanu official in Eldoret said.

Edited by EKibii