In Summary
  • Mr Ruto is using the General Election to set a base for the 2022 elections where he hopes to succeed Mr Kenyatta.
  • Mr Moi was thrust into the political limelight in 2002 when he succeeded his father as MP for Baringo Central.

When Mr William Ruto was silently preparing to take over the Kalenjin community leadership in 2002, retired President Daniel arap Moi was grooming his own son, Gideon, to inherit the mantle.

Mr Ruto is now Deputy President and virtually unchallenged community political supremo, while Gideon Moi had to be content with the seat of Baringo Senator.

KANU VS JUBILEE
As the younger Moi — now the leader of a much-diminished Kanu, which as is a pale shadow of the political behemoth bequeathed by his father — faces an electoral battle to hold on to his seat against the challenge of Jubilee Party candidate Simon Kiprono Chelugui, it is a race with reverberations far beyond the county.

It is still about the Moi-Ruto duel for Kalenjin supremacy, and ultimately a duel over the presidential succession.

PRESIDENCY

Mr Ruto is using the General Election to set a base for the 2022 elections where he hopes to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Senator Moi, on the other hand, has signalled that he, too, will be in the presidential race in 2022, but obviously his prospects would be dealt a serious blow if he lost the Senate seat to M Chelugui, who is enjoying Mr Ruto’s backing.

MWAI KIBAKI
Mr Moi was thrust into the political limelight in 2002 when he succeeded his father as MP for Baringo Central.

At that time he and Mr Ruto were close allies supporting Mr Kenyatta’s futile bid to clinch the presidency on a Kanu ticket.

By the next elections, Mr Kenyatta had hitched his political future to supporting President Mwai Kibaki’s re-election, and ensured that Kanu did not field a presidential candidate.

COMEBACK
Mr Ruto had himself ditched Kanu for ODM, leaving the once powerful ruling party floundering around leaderless and rudderless under Gideon Moi, who went on to lose the Baringo Central Parliamentary seat.

He bounced back as Baringo Senator in 2013, but Mr Ruto went a few steps better as Deputy President in the successful Jubilee campaign.

ISAAC RUTO
Ten years after single-handedly bringing together the community, Mr Ruto now faces the biggest challenge to his kingship from none other than Senator Moi - who has teamed up with Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, an erstwhile ally of the DP, to challenge his supremacy in the region.

Mr Moi, on the other hand, finds himself in an awkward position.

NASA EQUATION

Having supported President Kenyatta’s re-election in the August 8 polls, he is on a ‘war path’ with the DP on who will control the Rift Valley vote bloc.

So intense has their rivalry been that the younger Moi, at one point, appeared to be warming up to the Opposition.

In January 11, at the Bomas of Kenya, Kanu’s Secretary General Nick Salat declared that the former ruling party was firmly in the opposition, a decision that was later on rescinded by the party.

Mimi kama katibu mkuu wa Kanu nawahakikishia kwamba tuko ndani kabisa (As the secretary general of Kanu I want to assure you that we are fully part of Nasa,” he said.

RE-ELECTION
It was believed that had this been allowed to happen, the Opposition would have made tremendous inroads, not only in the North Rift but the entire Rift Valley, thereby denting President Kenyatta’s re-election chances.

A visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s mother, Mama Ngina, to retired President Daniel arap Moi was therefore planned. 

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