Kalenjin Council of Elders now wants Baringo Senator Gideon Moi to wait until 2032 for the community’s blessings to contest for the presidency, saying it has already endorsed Deputy President William Ruto.
The council, popularly known as Myoot, said the community can only rally behind the Baringo senator once the second-in-command is done with his 10 years at the helm, starting with a 2022 stab at the presidency.
“Ruto is number two in the pecking order and closer to power. Kenyans have also shown faith in him. He was trusted by Kenyans and that’s why he campaigned alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta and garnered more votes,” said council’s chairman Benjamin Kitur.
Kitur warned the community against fronting two of its best players, arguing they risk splitting the votes to the benefit of competition.
“The leaders should demonstrate political maturity. Despite coming from different parties, they should put aside their party differences and focus on the agenda of development and tell the president what problems we the people of North Rift are facing,” Kitur said.
Sources intimated The Frontier Post Reporter that last week, more than 50 Kalenjin elders who met at the Reformed Church of East Africa in Eldoret unanimously agreed and declared support for Dr Ruto in his quest for the presidency.
The elders pledged to unite all political leaders from the region in bid to shape the region’s politics ahead of 2022 elections.
However, the position taken by the Myoot has attracted instant condemnation from Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat who accused Myoot of showing bias when they should be uniting the community.
“How do you tell someone who is over 50 to shelve their ambition for another? It is not only unfair but also serious contempt that we cannot allow to happen. As a party, we are satisfied by the kind of support we have received from elders across the country. We have our eyes on the goal and won’t be distracted,” said Salat.
According to Salat, the elders should be happy that at least two of their prominent sons were demonstrating the ambition to lead the country.
“What we are achieving is unity of the whole country and it is not driven by personal interest or politics. We need to lead by example to be united as a country and it cannot be achieved without communities being united,” Kitur added.
He said they had done random surveys in the region and that a vast majority are in support of the DP’s State House ambition compared to Moi’s.
The development will no doubt rattle Moi’s camp at a time he has been crisscrossing the expansive Rift Valley to galvanise support ahead of the next elections.
The Myoot council is an umbrella body of all the 10 sub-tribes of Kalenjin comprising the Nandi, Kipsigis, Tugen, Marakwet, Keiyo, Pokot, Sabaot, Cherangany, Ogiek and Terik.