The fallout from the bitterly fought by-election to fill the Kericho Senate seat won by Jubilee continued to be felt in the Rift Valley on Thursday, with rival sides demanding apologies.
A group calling itself the Rift Valley Council of Elders summoned Baringo Senator Gideon Moi over his alleged attempt to undermine Deputy President William Ruto.
But a another group of political activists sympathetic to the Baringo senator asked Jubilee supporters to apologise for chanting, “Yote Yawezekana Bila Moi (All is possible without Moi)”, after their candidate, Mr Aaron Cheruiyot, defeated Kanu’s Paul Sang.
The song was made popular in the lead-up to the 2002 General Election, when then retiring President Daniel arap Moi, Gideon’s father, saw his preferred successor, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, lose to Mr Mwai Kibaki.
With nearly a week since the by-election, it was obvious that the rift created by the race was far from healed, when an inter-ethnic group accused the pro-Moi team of undermining Mr Ruto.
In an interview with the Nation in Nakuru, council chairman Gilbert Kabage called the Baringo senator a spoiler.
Other elders were Mr John Kipkogei, Mr Samuel Kiplangat, Mr John Koech, Mr Gabriel Kimani and Mr John Kahatu.
But the Myoot Kipsigis Council of Elders described the Jubilee celebrations as “offensive”.
The council chairman, Bishop (Rtd) Paul Leleito, took issue with the chants, saying former President Moi should not have been dragged into the rivalry.
“Such action against the community’s senior leader could unintentionally bring a curse upon our community. I, therefore, call on those who were involved in chanting to come forward and apologise,” said Bishop Leleito.
He said Mr Ruto should humble himself and reunite the various Kalenjin factions that had locked horns in the poll and offered the council’s support.
“This region cannot continue providing the stage for political theatrics as we move closer to next year’s elections at the expense of the people while other regions are focusing on development. DP Ruto must lead efforts to unite the Kalenjin leaders,” he added.