alexa Kalenjin elders fault Ruto, Gideon over widening rift in region - Daily Nation

Kalenjin elders fault Ruto, Gideon over widening rift in region

Monday February 17 2020

Deputy President William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto (left) and Senator Gideon Moi at he funeral service of former president Daniel arap Moi at Kabarak on February 12, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

ONYANGO K’ONYANGO
By ONYANGO K’ONYANGO
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The Kalenjin Council of Elders has blamed the widening rift in Rift Valley region on Deputy President William Ruto and his political nemesis Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

The elders said their efforts to reconcile the duo hit a snag due to what they described as ''political egos''.

“We wanted to reconcile the two but I think it was not on their agenda … I think they wanted to run their own fields without realising that, in such a race, you need everyone in your court,” said Myoot chair, Major (rtd) John Seii, who is also a member of the BBI task force.

“They did not say they didn’t want the process but they turned us away. Everyone became busy with their own things and that is why their supporters are ever in push and pull, hence the division,” he said.

The elders said the death of retired President Daniel arap Moi, who had been the kingpin in the Rift Valley region since the 1950s, has created a vacuum which is expected to intensify the supremacy battles between his son and DP Ruto.

However, Mr Seii said the DP’s seat makes Ruto their political leader, adding that they do not have a succession plan. He said Senator Moi is also free to push for his ambitions since it is his democratic right.

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“There is no proper succession plan. So there is no one who can assume the position. Ruto is one of our senior politicians, but when it comes to leadership, there is the political and community leadership. We have not made anyone our community leader. He (Ruto) is just our political leader,” Maj Seii told the Nation on the phone yesterday.

Political pundits have cautioned that the duo will have an uphill task in uniting the region if they want to succeed Moi.

Prof XN Iraki of the University of Nairobi said Dr Ruto and Senator Moi will hardly succeed in uniting the region because none of them is ready to shelve his ambitions.

He added that supporters of the two leaders have continued to disagree over many issues, including the welfare of farmers, with Senator Moi’s group accusing the DP of pushing for his interest at the expense of the community.

“Political influence is built. It is rarely inherited, even in monarchies, hence the younger Moi should be ready to battle it out with DP Ruto without Mzee's long shadow,” he said.