Nandi elders pour cold water on DP Ruto ‘secret’ dusk blessing ceremony

A section of Nandi elders have said the ‘secret’ dusk ceremony last week in which Deputy President William Ruto was made the leader of the Kalenjin community did not follow due process.

The elders said the ceremony was done in secrecy and didn’t meet the threshold of a ceremony allowed for a person of the DP’s stature.

Nandi Council of Elders led by Christopher Meli, Isaac Rono, Christopher Koiyoki, Joseph Samoei and Taptengelei Tekengech spoke on Thursday in Kapsabet town.

“Naturally, such ceremonies are done during the day, however, the one carried out at night left a lot to be desired and was trivialised and individualised by a family in the name of Talai clan,” Koiyoki said.

Koiyoki is the Talai Council of Elders vice chairman and regretted that he was not notified by his chairman the Rev. Canon James Baasi of the DP’s ceremony.

Meli said a ceremony for someone of the DP’s position should not be done in secrecy or in private and at night.

“Just like the 2005 ceremony was done at the Eldoret sports club in which Ruto was handed powers to lead the Kalenjin community; it was carried out in broad daylight and in public view,” Said Meli.

The elders said the ceremony unnecessarily split the community as many feel the DP was misled by those who invited him to Kipsirwo village for the rites.

Koiyoki expressed shock that some of those who participated in the 2017 coronation of President Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the repeat presidential polls were at the DP’s ceremony.

“Uhuru is still in office and carrying out another ceremony to someone else is an attempt to disinherit him while in power,” Koiyoki added.

The ceremony at Rev Baasi’s home had a mixture of Christian and traditional rites, which the elders said was like trying to mix salt and sugar.

The elders called for calm among members of the Nandi community, saying the day Ruto will be given traditional instruments of leadership during the day and in public is when the ceremony will be recognised.

“For now that was an interim ceremony, we are yet to get back those handed over to the late president Daniel Moi and handed out to someone else,” Rono said.

Meanwhile, Talai community leaders have convened an urgent meeting to discuss the circumstances under which a section of elders carried out the rites.


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