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Is it Nakuru or Baringo? Raymond sends mixed signals as 2022 nears

Wednesday July 15 2020
moi

Rongai MP Raymond Moi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By FRANCIS MUREITHI

Raymond Moi, the son of former President Daniel arap Moi, rarely speaks on succession politics in public.

The closest the Rongai MP has come to show his political colours on Mr Kenyatta’s succession was during the burial of his father in Kabarak, Nakuru County, on February 12.

During the burial, Raymond crowned his younger brother, Gideon, who is also Kanu chairman and Baringo senator, the former President’s political heir.

He handed the senator a replica of their father’s rungu after receiving it from elders.

SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY

Some political analysts say the handing over of Moi’s trade-mark baton, considered a symbol of authority for the 24 years of his presidency, was the start of a calculated scheme to prepare Gideon to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.

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Gideon, however, has a political mountain to climb in his bid to dislodge Deputy President William Ruto as the Rift Valley kingpin.

Elders in the vast region are torn between supporting Dr Ruto and the Baringo senator and have not unanimously endorsed any.

“Those salivating for my seat should pray hard that Gideon contests the presidency in 2022. It is then that I will choose between gunning for the Baringo senate or governor’s seat,” the Rongai MP said at a funeral in Soin recently.

“I don’t fear my opponents. I’m ready for them and will defeat them just as I did in 2013 and 2017.”

DISLODGE RAYMOND

Almost 10 people want to dislodge Raymond as Rongai MP.

There have been reports of Raymond contesting the Nakuru Senate seat as the incumbent Susan Kihika prepares to take on Governor Lee Kinyanjui.

However, it will be hard to sell Raymond as a Kanu candidate in Nakuru, a Jubilee stronghold.

Raymond is the only Kanu MP in the 11 constituencies in the region.

His chest-thumping during the funeral sparked a heated debate in Rongai.

Some described his statement as exit talk and political arrogance while others said Raymond is tactically preparing Rongai residents for his defeat in 2022.

SYMPATHY FOR MOI

Many believe he has been winning the seat because of sympathy for his father.

Raymond has in the past dismissed those claims, insisting that his development record speaks for itself.

Raymond’s 2013 chief campaigner Joseph Kibusia said the MP fears being embarrassed in the 2022 General Election.

“Since his father left the political stage, Raymond has been losing support on the ground. His political father is no longer around to prop him,” Mr Kibusia said.

INTIMIDATE RIVALS

Ms Gladys Kamuren, who contested the Nakuru Woman Representative seat on a Chama Cha Mashinani ticket, said Raymond’s statement was meant to intimidate rivals.

“Raymond is known for such tactics but he cannot fool Rongai people forever. He should brace himself for shock,” said the politician who has shifted her allegiance to Jubilee.

She dismissed Raymond’s development record as “cosmetic”.

“There is no development in the five wards that make up Rongai. The place lacks electricity, water and roads. His ego does not allow him to lobby for national resources,” Ms Kamuren said.

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