Retired President Daniel Moi breathed his last on February 4 2020 at The Nairobi Hospital. On paper, Mzee Moi was 96 years old but reliable sources claim ‘The Professor’ of Kenyan politics rocked beyond a century by three or four years.
He raised from a P3, primary school teacher from the remote village of Sacho in Baringo to being the president of Kenya for 24 years, like when he was born, 1924. Moi represented Baringo Central in parliament from 1966 to 2002, who does that?
He rose to presidency in unlikely times in 1978 after the death of the then President Jomo Kenyatta. He had served as Kenyatta’s vice for close to twelve years, Kenyatta must have trusted him because he ignored calls by his hardliners to ‘massage’ the law and make it impossible for Moi to rise to to leadership.
He became president in 1978, surviving coups and cleverly beat his opponents. He fired and hired the late Prof. George Saitoti at will; he beat Matiba, allowed the introduction of multi party system that was pushed by the learned types but he still manage to repeatedly divide and beat them in their own game.
Moi has left behind protégés who are calling shots in the game right now and they will be inheriting presidency from each other. The current president, Uhuru Kenyatta is an ‘alumni’ of Pro. Moi’s School of Politics and so is the Deputy President William Ruto, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi among others.
This is the face of leadership for the society and the generation, but of these guys, no one plays better and smart and like Ruto. He wins every challenge from BBI politics, grabbing ODM leader by his ankes in Kibra in a parliamentary by election and proving his ability to make a king from 2002 or let’s say officially from 2007 to now when he is the man to beat in 2022?
The court of public opinion rules that he is the most corrupt politician in Kenya today; there could be doubts because these eat together. Ruto plays Moi’s kind of ‘Mr. Giver’ politics; he is doing it churches, extra ordinary in a vocabulary because when Ruto is accused of stealing he is also being accused of giving out too much, what a mix!
Moi who stayed at the helm for twenty years, mentored a retired president and the current president was also accused of the same. Yes he mentored president Kibaki, he appointed Kibaki his minister and his vice.
Ruto is the ‘political backbone’ of the regime of the day, he is the reason Odinga ‘won’ in 2007 and now the reason Odinga can’t sleep and win in 2022. He is that powerful because he is smart like mentor, The Late Moi whose body is preserved at the Lee Funeral Home.
President Uhuru was the favourite ‘political son’ of Mzee upto the time of his death, Mudavadi was a good boy, they type combing his hair, tacking in and going to church. Ruto would look like some sort of ‘a renegade’ but Mzee rested knowing that Dr. William Ruto is super aggressive and ambitious.
Any honest young man person in Kenya today must think about Ruto to visualize the power of ambition and hard work. Just like his mentor Moi, his story is amazing but he was also accused of being a dictator. He was loved and feared at the same time.
Ruto too, if this was a soccer game, Raila would be a retiring striker playing his final match or missing shots in a final match. It’s not an easy game but all fans can agree that Ruto is the man of the match. Mudavadi is cheering at his brothers because if he is not doing that he is either supporting or playing like a lady. He is hitting with soft punches.
Ruto has the power to alter things and he has been in that position for a minute. Moi had that power and it continues to manifest in his protégés. The current Ruto might be ‘a remix’ by Odinga but this would be song that a producer or another sing would just tamper with like that. The originality is widely maintained.
Odinga must be credited for making ‘the song’ popular but the rights were either bought or transferred or it could be a case where the artist became, kept all the rights and went independent. It is now a case of ‘who can go against who’, including against Odinga who rocked the ‘heart’ of KANU in 2002.
KANU was Mzee Moi’s political party. It’s no doubt that Ruto is displaying and Moi went to sleep that Ruto has the muscles and guts to go toe to toe against that guy.
It is sad that he is too ambitious to an extent that he fell out with Moi but he has displayed political excellence from when Moi ‘picked’ him in early 90s when he was just in his mid 20s to date.