Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 01 Sep 2016 17:23 EAT
With the 2017 general elections getting closer, Baringo senator and Kanu National Chairman Gideon Moi seems to be increasingly under pressure from allies to strike a viable political course for the party.
Kanu, which ruled Kenya for four decades until recently was entrenched through the country, is a pale shadow of its former self. The party has only a handful of senators, a score of MPs and one governor elected on its ticket.
It was, however, the main partner in the Amani Coalition that pushed former vice president Musalia Mudavadi's presidential campaign in the 2013 elections. Being part of Amani allowed the junior Moi and a number of nationally recognized politicians to chart a path independent of both Jubilee and CORD coalitions.
Despite their ideological proximity to the Jubilee team, Kanu leaders like Gideon and Pokot senator John Lonyan'gapuo intuitively prefer to remain independent of the coalition owing to the central role deputy president William Ruto plays in it. Ruto and Gideon do not agree politically and the DP believes his political stability rests on counterbalancing the influence of the Moi family.
Following the Amani Coalition's collapse, the Kanu leadership has been divided over whether to maintain its relations with Jubilee or go it alone in the next election. A merger with Jubilee would mark the end of the declining Moi political dynasty. On the other hand, complete divorce would complicate the younger Moi's political survival in a Kalenjin region where Ruto commands a bigger following than at any other time.
Gideon's politics over the past year has involved juggling balls, allying with the opposition CORD coalition to tame Jubilee on issues such as reconstitution of the Electoral Commission while at the same time keeping distance from CORD, which has no substantial following among the Kalenjin.
Two days ago, Gideon hosted over 200 leaders from the Sabaot community, a sub-tribe of Kalenjin, at his home in Mogotio. The leaders urged the Baringo senator to run for the presidency next year, declaring that he was the best candidate who can represent the interests of the community and the Rift Valley.
Former Mt. Elgon MP Joseph Kimkung, who led the delegation, said Gideon had the desirable qualities of becoming the next president of Kenya due to his upbringing in a political family.
“Gideon has the qualities of a unifying leader, which the country is yearning for. Other leaders portray divisive politics,” said Kimkung.
Also present at the meeting was Baringo Speaker William Kamket who commended Gideon for rejecting calls to dissolve Kanu and join the Jubilee Party saying that Kanu is national unity symbol.
Also present at the meeting was North Rift Kanu politician Barnabas Bii who blamed DP Ruto for allegedly pursuing his personal interests at the expense of economic and social development of the community.
Gideon was reported as downplaying the urging that he runs for president. He also clarified once more that he had not joined any alliance with CORD.
“Let it be understood that Kanu is the only political outfit with Kenyans’ interests at heart,” said Gideon.
The writer is the news editor of the Kenya Free Press