Baringo Senator Gideon Moi was handed ‘rungu ya nyayo’ to be the family’s political leader in the burial ceremony of his father, Retired President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi before thousands of mourners who thronged Kabarak University grounds.
It’s a good symbol of leadership; it actually became Mzee Moi’s signature. But this is kenyann politics, it’s very tribal and securing serious backing from the backyard is very necessary. The guy in control in Moi’s backyard is the Deputy President Dr. William Ruto and the guy is good schemer and a rugged operator.
Late last year he stormed Raila Odinga in the ODM bedroom that is Kibra and left Baba bruised despite fielding a political stranger in the name of Mac Donald Mariga. The former soccer star and champions league winner, Mariga is not even a resident of Kibra but through him, Ruto got Baba shook.
This is the man Moi must neutralize or learn to handle or else Moi will rely on trips ‘abroad’ say Coast, Western, Mt. Kenya, Nairobi or Nyanza to gain political influence. With ‘sympathy’ on his side he may sell abroad but knowing that your main competitor is a giant at home is ‘a puncture’ already.
Ruto is growing good influence abroad; he is eating up President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt. Kenya backyard and he has noisy sycophants in numbers. He is doing the same to Raila Odinga as well; he is always in Western and Kisii regions.
But again with Ruto increasingly becoming ‘a common enemy’ might make it easy for other opponents to group behind Moi to face him. That is the magic that can work for Moi but Odinga did not promise the Baringo Senator support like other BBI drummers. Francis Atwoli assured Gideon support.
Odinga must be pinching himself to realize that ‘the centre’ and ‘the beauty’ of the 2022 politics is going to be in the Rift like it was in Central in 2002 but can they flip it and succeed each like Uhuru and Kibaki? History repeats itself and there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics.
But the duel pitting a biological son against ‘a political son’ is going to be a rare type. Biology is backed by scientific facts and that is Moi’ task to prove.
Sympathy cannot win it all keeping in mind that some Kalenjin elders have come out to say that the ‘rungu’ that Moi was given by a section of the elders was a family but not a community thing. They will give the ‘rungu’ forty days after Mzee’s burial.