During the clamour for multi-party rule in Kenya, one man stood out as a staunch defender of the existing status quo and frowned at the idea that one-party politics should come to an end.
Wilson Leitich, now aged 84, a politician from Nakuru, even told Kanu youth wingers to chop off fingers of anyone found flashing the two-finger salute which was being used by multiparty crusaders.
Mr Leitich later claimed that it was a "mere joke".
This is the man whom former President Daniel arap Moi, who died on Tuesday, consulted widely during his 24-year reign on the politics of Nakuru.
“There is no major political decision Mzee Moi made as far as Nakuru politics was concerned without consulting me. We were so tight and he shared with me his thoughts on every political move or decision he made in Nakuru,” said Mr Leitich.
TNA, URP MERGER
He revealed that even before President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto merged their parties -- The National Alliance (TNA) and United Republican Party (URP) -- to form Jubilee at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, Mzee Moi called him and they discussed the merger.
“I attended the merger between TNA and URP and, immediately after the marriage, Mzee Moi sent the late MP Mark Too and we went to his Kabarak home and I briefed him on what transpired at Afraha Stadium,” said Mr Leitich.
“Mzee Moi was so happy with Mr Kenyatta and Dr Ruto uniting before the public and kept on referring to Mr Kenyatta as Arap Kenyatta in our discussion, and urged me to rally the Kalenjin nation to ensure Mr Kenyatta gets to State House,” recalled Mr Leitich.
Mr Leitich said that the former Head of State was a disciplinarian who would not entertain party wrangles.
But the politician said that he is disturbed by the current confusion in the Jubilee Party, which is divided into two wings -- Kieleweke and Tangatanga.
“It is at the height of the current confusion in the ruling Jubilee that I miss Mzee Moi as he would not entertain such petty politics and divisions in the party,” recalled Mr Leitich.
“The Jubilee wings of Tangatanga and Kieleweke should give Mzee Moi respect by burying the hatchet. This, I strongly believe, will guarantee Mzee Moi eternal peace. The increasing divisions in the party will make Mzee Moi turn in his grave,” said Mr Leitich.
“I will greatly miss Mzee Moi as he brought unity and ensured communities coexisted in peace,” said Mr Leitich, who is also the chairman of the Nakuru Elders Peace Council.
The former Nakuru District Kanu chairman said that what many people in the cosmopolitan county do not know is that Mzee Moi contributed Sh1 million for the purchase of the two-storey Kanu House at the heart of Nakuru town.
The building is now facing the auctioneer’s hammer for non-payment of electricity bills running into millions of shillings.
“Mzee Moi contributed his personal donation of Sh1 million and I contributed Sh500,000 and the rest was raised by ordinary Kanu members and in total we raised Sh12 million and we bought the building. The party headquarters in Nairobi never contributed even a single cent,” said Mr Leitich.
HOUSE OF TERROR
The Kanu House is described by many as a “house of terror” as it was used as a torture chamber back in the 1980s by goons associated with Kenya’s independence party.
But Mr Leitich denied claims of torture being carried out in the building.
“This is propaganda to smear the good name of Kanu. Nobody was whipped or tortured. Maybe it happened before I became the chairman,” said Mr Leitich, who is also a former nominated MP.