Drama ensued early Saturday when Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who is also the Kanu party chairman, went to Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, reportedly for coronation as the Kalenjin kingpin.
It is said Mr Moi arrived between 4am and 6am only to find all roads to his destination blocked. He was on this way to a meeting with Christopher Koyogi, the dethroned vice-chairman of Talai Council of Elders.
A rowdy group, said to be of supporters of Deputy President William Ruto, used tyres, logs and debris to block Chepterit-Baraton-Sang’alo road at Kimondi.
They accused Senator Moi and Mr Koyogi of going against the traditional ways of the Talai clan, pertaining to coronation of leaders.
Some of the people admitted that they derailed Mr Moi’s attempt to access Mr Koyogi’s home, which is next to Kapsisiywa Primary School.
“On Friday at around 8pm-9pm, we received information that someone senior was coming to visit us. Later on, by the blessings of our elders, we realised it was Senator Moi, who was coming for a coronation ceremony. We [made plans] to block him,” said one William Serem.
“His convoy made an attempt [to continue with the journey] at around 5am, using Kabiyet Sang’alo road, but we had barricaded it. We cannot allow another adorning ceremony to take place,” said one Lenix Rono.
Others wondered why the politician decided to visit the Talai clan without being accompanied by local leaders such as Nandi Governor Stephen Sang.
“There is no way we can allow some elders to commercialise the blessed powers of our clan,” said Elijah Murei.
The youths demanded an address by Mr Moi and for him to declare his stand on Deputy President William Ruto’s bid for the presidency.
Senator Moi is said to have pleaded in vain with them, noting Rift Valley residents loved his father, the late former President Daniel arap Moi.
Amos Korir, one of the elders of Talai, said, “Yes, Moi tried to visit the area with the aim of being coronated by one of our colleagues called Koyogi, who disputed the coronation of the DP, something which is unacceptable. We mobilised youths to block him.”
With this latest development surrounding the region’s kingpin, it is clear the DP and Baringo Senator are in for a tough battle in the pursuit of supremacy in the Rift Valley, two years to the 2022 General Election. Both have the financial muscle that is necessary.
A major battle is shaping up fast, with each politician seeking to exploit the other’s weak points to score points. The ultimate price would be the presidency.
For the last 10 years, the DP has run the show in the region, pushing Mr Moi to the periphery, but recent national political changes spearheaded by President Kenyatta have elevated the senator and given him more influence in regional politics.
Dr Ruto and his lieutenants have embarked on what has been interpreted as a move to lock Senator Moi out of the vote-rich region.
Their newer and broader strategy involves ward representatives and elders who will comb the grassroots for support ahead of the 2022 vote.
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