2022 POLITICS

Gideon shouldn’t relent in State House bid

His never-give-up attitude in his quest to be blessed by the elders speaks to the urgency of his desire to be the one to replace his late father as the Rift Valley kingpin.

In Summary

• Many can dismiss Gideon as politically inept but can he not lead when given the opportunity to occupy a national leadership position?

• Many dismissed his father’s ability to be Kenya’s second president but he surprised them when he went on to occupy the seat for 24 years.

Deputy President William Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi next to President Uhuru Kenyatta's official vehicle in Kabarak on February 12, 2020.
Deputy President William Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi next to President Uhuru Kenyatta's official vehicle in Kabarak on February 12, 2020.
Image: DPPS

On January 2, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi woke up at midnight and travelled to Nandi county to be in time for his planned coronation by the Talai clan of Kapsisiywo.

Unbeknown to him, his political enemies had planned to frustrate his day of blessings and he was forced to suddenly cut short his visit to the elders.

This event was going to take place at whatever cost, even if it meant ignoring some of the event’s ethics and tenets. These regulations overrode his quest to be thrust further into the heart of Kalenjin politics, armed with the power instruments that go with such coronation.

Although the coronation is a symbolic gesture, it truly gives the subject the legitimacy and unquestionable direct mandate to lead the people with the blessings that resonate with the thoughts of the ancestors.

The high stake political competition between Deputy President William Ruto and Gideon is so deep that it has divided the Talai elders, who have always been united and spoken in unison.  

The coronation finally happened on Friday morning at his Kabarak home.

This drew sharp reactions from some intractable posers in Tangatanga as some labelled the event the joke of the year and dismissed it as inconsequential.

Allies of Deputy President William Ruto — who was coronated by the same elders in June last year —accused Gideon of going against the tenets of such a ceremony by inviting the elders to bless him in his home instead of him visiting the traditional shrines of the Talai elders”.

But the good senator went to Kapsisiywo but his convoy was prevented from reaching its destination.

Many can dismiss Gideon as politically inept but can he not lead when given the opportunity to occupy a national leadership position? Many dismissed his father’s ability to be Kenya’s second president but he surprised them when he went on to occupy the seat for 24 years.

Just in the same way there are voters who cannot wait to see Ruto becoming President next year, there are those who are waiting to witness the son of the late President Daniel Moi being the next Commander-In-Chief.

These two groups have every right, democratically, to throw their respective weight behind the two presidential aspirants without a tinge of guilt.

If any of them manages to clinch the presidency, then all Kalenjins will be winners. Who said it is unhealthy to have ambitious sons or daughters from the same family? The unbridled enmity between the duo and their supporters, shall one day be a thing of the past and the two groups will realise that what divides them is weaker than that which unites them.

Gideon’s never-give-up attitude in his quest to be blessed by the elders speaks to the urgency of his desire to be the one to replace his late father as the Rift Valley kingpin.

During the sunset days of his father’s leadership, it was a public secret as to who among the Moi siblings would inherit the old man’s huge shoes.

Gideon, also known as arap Tungo (the Kalenjin culture dictates that lastborn sons take their mothers’ clan name informally) is Moi’s youngest son. He had always been the apple of his father’s eye. It came as no surprise, therefore, when he was publicly given his father’s ‘rungu’ to signify his position as the heir of the political leadership taking over the baton from where Moi left.

Then, Ruto was the most senior Kalenjin kingmaker thanks to his position as the second-in-command. Gideon feels that he is the one to lead the Kalenjin nation since his father passed the baton to him and the Kieleweke corner has abundant favours on him. Who knows maybe by 2022, Gideon will be the most favourite among voters?

For the uninitiated, political optics in this country does not translate into victory after the counting of the votes.

On Election Day, the most popular presidential candidate, loses to the most unpopular. Political Science students and academics can tell you that this phenomenon is averse to democracy but who said democracy has anything to do with reverse counting of votes?

I however hope that this vice ended in 2017.

It is the man with favour among the Deep State who triumphs. I see you squint. If you doubt me, have coffee with ODM leader Raila Odinga.