The meeting between former President Daniel Moi and President Uhuru Kenyatta has not augured well with Deputy President William Ruto due to conflicting interests between the DP and Moi’s son Gideon.
DP Ruto and the former President Moi’s son have for a while now been at loggerheads as they both seek to position themselves as the Rift Valley kingpin, with their differences playing out in public during the funeral of former nominated MP Mark Too.
Gideon Moi is accusing DP Ruto of bulldozing the region into supporting Jubilee without providing development while the deputy president terms Gideon Moi as a political infant who has not contributed anything to help the people to Rift Valley.
The Baringo Senator has claimed that while they support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection bid, they do not recognize DP Ruto as Jubilee point man in the region, calling on Uhuru to approach the region directly.
“DP Ruto has not done anything since joining the government. All he has done is enrich himself and his cronies and that is why you (President Uhuru) should deal with the people of Rift Valley directly instead of using middlemen,” said Gideon Moi at the funeral of Mark Too.
But DP Ruto has in several cases rubbished Gideon’s assertion saying Jubilee does not need Kanu to win the elections noting that they would employ similar tactics they used in 2013 to win re-election.
“Jubilee does not need Kanu to win the August elections. We won the 2013 elections without their support and will do the same in 2017 even if they decided to support the Opposition,” Ruto responded.
Just to show the extent of their feud, DP Ruto has gone to the point of endorsing Betting Control and Licensing board member Simon Chelugui to run against Gideon Moi for the Baringo Senate seat in August.
Both DP Ruto and the Baringo Senator have also declared interest in running for president in the 2022 elections, with the Kanu chair being seen to endear himself to President Kenyatta to win over support for his bid.
It is for this reason that Uhuru’s visit to former President Moi is worrying the Ruto camp, coming just a month after his mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta also visited the former President at his Kabarnet home in Nakuru.
According to sources privy to the discussion, the meeting which took place at Moi’s Kabarnet Gardens home in Nairobi last Thursday, saw the current political situation feature prominently with key focus being the August 8 elections.
Reports indicate that former President Moi expressed his support and that of his former party Kanu for President Kenyatta’s re-election bid with the president being required to consider allocating some slots in his government to Kanu should he win the August elections.
Former President Moi is said to have called for an end to the feud between Jubilee leaders and Gideon Moi (who was also present in the meeting) while calling on President Uhuru to develop a cordial working relation with his son and support his re-election bid for Baringo Senate seat.
Though it is not yet clear whether or not Uhuru accepted the arrangement, the current situation has already elicited sharp reaction from Ruto’s close allies including Elgeyo Marakwet Kipchumba Murkomen who see it as a scheme by the Mois to shortchange DP Ruto.
Should President Kenyatta agree to the deal and give Kanu, and by extension Gideon Moi, some political elevation through government appointments should he win reelection, it will raise his profile in the Rift Valley and may play to Ruto’s disadvantage should both of them run for president in 2022.
This could divide the Rift Valley votes and therefore grant someone else the win.
There is also the possibility that Gideon Moi may collude with other parties to form a stronger force in 2022 that would make things difficult for Ruto’s Jubilee to win the 2022 presidential elections.
Other than Gideon Moi, DP Ruto is also facing rebellion from Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto who will be running for reelection on his Chama Cha Mashinani in August, and Meru Governor Peter Munya who has also said he will support Uhuru’s reelection bid in 2017 but go for the top seat in 2022.
Munya defected from Jubilee and joined Party of National Unity (PNU) where he was appointed the party leader.