By Samuel Ouma
The political supremacy battle between the deputy president Willian Ruto and his antagonist Baringo Senator and former president Daniel Moi’s, son Gideon Moi is at its peak as President Uhuru’s succession gains momentum ahead of 2022 General polls.
Both Moi and Ruto have declared their interests in contesting the country’s highest seat. The two and their allies have engaged in political tussle in the past. Exchange of bitter words has been the common weapon since 2006.
They have been employing different strategies to outdo each other and majority of Kenyans believe it is Gideon Moi who will carry out the day in the succession race. In 2016 during a hotly contested Kericho Senatorial by-election, Moi threw his weight behind the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) party’s flag bearer Paul Sang while the deputy President backed the Jubilee candidate Aaron Cheruiyot.
Gideon Moi, Kanu chairman together with Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, held several rallies within the county to counter attack Ruto’s strategies but Aaron Cheruiyot of Jubilee emerged the winner. He garnered 109,358 votes, while his closest rival got 56,307 votes.
Kanu, the former ruling party rejected the outcome accusing the electoral commission of rigging in Jubilee party’s candidate. They claimed the poll was marred with irregularities and mass voter bribery.
“We are disappointed with the manner in which the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission conducted the election as they appear to have had a clear working partnership with Jubilee party,” said Chama Cha Mashinani party leader Isaac Ruto.
It was the deputy president turn to revenge during last year’s August poll. He fielded the now water Cabinet Secretary Simon Chulugui to unseat Gideon in Baringo’s senatorial seat, however, his plans did not bear fruits.
In May this year their feud was at play again when Ruto was blocked from meeting Gideon’s father, the former President Daniel Moi. Despite waiting for three hours he was not allowed to see the ailing Moi on ground that he was having a date with his doctors.
Pro-Ruto politicians did not take it easily they bashed the Baringo Senator for barring the former Eldoret North legislator from seeing his father. They asked him to show respect to the deputy President.
“As Chairman of the Rift Valley leaders’ political caucus, I want to lay out everything in black and white. We have tried our level best to visit our beloved former president Moi and wish him all the best but Gideon Moi has blocked our every intention so people would say William does not want to wish him well, which is a total lie,” Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen.
Gideon’s presence during the opposition chief visit in April 14, 2018 elicited more reactions from Ruto’s lieutenants. They castigated him for playing mischief games to scuttle Ruto’s presidential bid.
“You are fake because you allowed an outsider Raila Odinga who opposed Jubilee during the previous election to great your father yet you turned to lock outside your own brother, “Kapseret legislator Oscar Sudi said.
Political analysts’ revelation that the kanu chairman has a higher chance of becoming president ahead of Ruto, has further worsened the relationship. According to Abraham Talel, political analyst, President Uhuru is likely to elbow his deputy for the Baringo Senator as his preferred successor given the Kenyan political history.
Famous handshake had caused more panic in Ruto’s political-circle. His allies argue that there are some operative forces working day and night to block their leader from becoming the Kenyan firth president. They have demanded President Kenya break the peace deal with Raila Odinga and declared Ruto as his successor.
Gideon Moi had divulged that his political difference with the Deputy President is not personal, but originated from unfulfilled development projects. He also blamed him for hurling insults at those who do not buy his ideas.
Attempts by leaders and elders to reconcile the two leaders who hail from the Northern part of the country have hit a snag. On Saturday, September 8, 2018, a group of elders revealed that their effort to bring the two together has not bear the fruit.
“As elders, we have sought to have them speak in one language as it has been for the community before but our numerous efforts have not brought forth any fruit. Our unity call to them was barely getting to deaf ears,” one of the elders reiterated.