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Western politicians meet Gideon Moi as 2022 plans take shape

Saturday August 01 2020
Gideon Moi meets Western leaders

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi during his meeting with Western Kenya leaders, led by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, in Kabarak, Nakuru County, on August 1, 2020. PHOTO | ERIC MATARA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

A meeting of Kanu chair Gideon Moi and a host of leaders mainly drawn from Western Kenya has yet again hinted at a possible coalition with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Jubilee Party ahead of the  2022 election.

The Baringo Senator on Saturday held a closed-door consultative meeting at his late father President Daniel arap Moi's Kabarak home in Nakuru County. It lasted about two hours.

Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, Council of Governors' chair and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugine Wamalwa and National Assembly Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe led the delegation from Western.

The leaders jetted to Kabarak after a tour of parts of Baringo including Marigat.

Details of the meeting were scanty but a brief statement from Senator Moi’s communication aide Alex Kiprotich said it centred on politics and development.

"The discussion centred on current political happenings, the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and how Kanu, Jubilee and other like-minded parties like ODM can work together ahead of 2022," Mr Kiprotich said.

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"The leaders also invited Senator Moi to tour Western Kenya.”

2022 ALLIANCES

Politicians seeking to run for the presidency have been angling for alliances ahead of the next General Election.

Buoyed by a deal the ruling Jubilee Party and Kanu signed on May 2, Mr Moi is regrouping with like minded politicians across the country as he seeks to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He is seeking the top position that his father held for a record 24 years until 2002.

A source privy to the meeting told the Nation that the meeting was meant to strategise on a working relationship among Kanu, Jubilee and ODM ahead of 2022.

"ODM was represented by Mr Oparanya and Jubilee by Mr Wangwe.The meeting also discussed how the parties will work together to push for the BBI.”

The meeting came days after the Baringo Senator led the independence party in launching an online membership registration drive.

Mr Moi said Kanu revised its membership cadres to make them more accommodative and responsive.

The party has been on a charm offensive as it seeks to boost its presence and influence across the country.

A few weeks ago, it unveiled a new team to boost its influence. The team chaired by Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio spearheads management and decision making on party affairs, including articulation of party policies and nationwide grassroots engagements.

The team is also re-evaluation the party’s structures across the country.

Other members are Elizabeth Kimkung (vice-chair), nominated Senator Abshiro Halake, party Secretary-General Nick Salat, Joseph Towett, George Wainaina, Aluoch Joshua, Bafadhil Abdirahman, Kivuvani Edward and Waka Job.

JUBILEE'S INFLUENCE

Kanu, which has been operating without a formal pre-election agreement with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee as required by law since 2017, signed a deal which could see it have a huge role in the 2022 presidential election.

Although Kanu has been voting with Jubilee as a bloc and has its members seconded to House committees by virtue of Jubilee’s strength, Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju said the pre-election agreement had not been submitted to the Registrar of Political Parties.

The deal was immediately followed by the ouster of Kipchumba Murkomen as Senate Majority Leader in what was seen as a purge of leaders curtailing President Kenyatta’s agenda within the Jubilee Party.

Senator Moi is emerging as the key beneficiary of the fight between President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.

He has been growing in stature over the last few years and often reminds his opponents that his eyes are on the ultimate prize — becoming the President in 2022.

The Kanu chair has also been the target of several other  political suitors.

STRONG TIES

The strong ties between the Moi and Kenyatta families, which date back to the 1960s, have played into Senator Moi’s advantage, with Mr Kenyatta appearing to be tactfully bringing him into his succession plans.

His long friendship with the President, since their days as students at St Mary’s School, Nairobi, in the late 1970s,  has also been beneficial.

The senator is facing fierce competition from DP Ruto, who was the late President Moi's political protege.

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