Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has embraced a new strategy to bolster his political network in the vote-rich Rift Valley region as he prepares for a stab at the presidency in 2022.
To reinvigorate the independence party, Senator Moi has embarked on a series of activities that involve reaching out to clerics and community opinion shapers. The move is aimed at creating an avenue to not only seek the views of his supporters on how to revive the party, but also to grow its membership.
In what appears as the launchpad of his activities, the Kanu chairman on Sunday toured Uasin Gishu County, the home-tuff of his political nemesis Deputy President William Ruto in an intensified campaign to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is serving his last term in office.
He held a meeting with church leaders in Kenmosa village on the outskirts of Eldoret town after holding similar talks with elders and leaders from Rift Valley and Western region.
Mr Moi had earlier held a closed-door meeting with a group of farmers to deliberate on issues affecting the agricultural sector. “I am asking our people to support me, and I will continue to work with other leaders to foster development,” said Senator Moi.
The senator has teamed up with Jubilee legislators Silas Tiren (Moiben) William Chepkut (Ainabkoi) and Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos.
During the burial of his father, retired President Daniel Moi, in February, Mr Moi, the youngest son, was handed a replica of the baton that was synonymous with Moi's 24-hour rule, signifying the unenviable responsibility of reviving Kanu.
Kanu has branches in 41 counties, way above the legally required
representation in 25 of the 47 devolved units.
"In terms of infrastructure, our party is unparalleled. We have the most diverse and enduring roots across Kenya. We now want to build a strong base in the Rift Valley region even as we seek countrywide support," said Mr Moi.
Nakuru Kanu branch Organising Secretary Kimani wa Kimani said: “We are focused on reawakening Kanu, and at the centre of it all will be Gideon Moi, who we will ask to present the party to take its rightful position in Kenyan politics as well as reactivate and reconnect with our massive, unmatched grass roots following.”
Mr Moi had visited Mt Elgon late last year together with former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, where he was crowned Kalenjin elder. Jubilee Party’s perceived flagship for Dr Ruto is enjoying support in Rift Valley although Kanu and Mr Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani have made inroads in the region and won key allies of the DP.
“We’re committed to building a strong political network since you’ve demonstrated the ability to unite Kenyans,” said Ernest Kirui, one of the Kalenjin Myoot Council of elders.
The elders challenged senator Moi to come out openly on his intention to vie for presidency. The younger Moi, who has not publicly declared his interest to succeed President Kenyatta, has instead been raiding the DP’s home turf, where he has demanded overhaul of the agriculture sector, which forms the economic backbone of locals.
He recently held a meeting with leaders and farmers in Eldoret, where he called for introduction of an array of changes in the sector.
The Kanu chairman has promised to hold similar forums as he extends his meet-the-people tour across the country. He has also toured Central, Western, Nyanza and Coast regions.