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By Majimaji

With Moi’s absence, is the succession matrix doomed if at all there is a preferred arrangement? What happens to Rift Valley vote basket? Will Gideon Moi step into his father’s shoes or will finally Deputy President William Ruto have his way? What happens to the pool of political orphans who might have depended on Moi’s ‘giraffe’ vision? Does Raila Odinga who is viewed as the enigma of Kenyan politics now become the full ‘Baba’ by age, experience, knowledge, vibrancy and talent with the absence of Baba wa taifa? Who will Mama Ngina confide in on matters succession? It is believed the two (Mzee Moi and Mama Ngina) have always had a close political relationship especially statehouse wise…

Retired President Moi prophesied that KANU will rule Kenya for 100 years. Will that come to pass? The late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Raila’s father once said that Moi is like a giraffe, he sees very far. This is evident when he started to build Uhuru Kenyatta from scratch who to his word became Kenya’s 3rd President after Mwai Kibaki. In 2018 we saw visits to his home in Kabarak by notably Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka coordinated by Gideon Moi (his son). One would like to believe it was a normal courtesy call after a cut throat election that threatened Kenya’s stability in 2017 but a lot can be read in practise and relationship of the four after the visits. Was a deal cut? Is there a succession arrangement? And will that be affected by his absence? It was also seen that the DP Ruto was not welcomed in the courtesy call which raises no doubt of a succession plan but in whose favour? Raila, Gideon  or Kalonzo being that under the current constitution, Uhuru will leave office by 2022 to pave way for a new government and president…

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Although Moi as president managed to cut out a national figure, he is seen as the Rift Valley icon and political legend whose absence the basket is affected. People still look up to his signal to which direction the rift should take on matters politics especially presidential. In his influence the local Rift Valley interests notably Kalenjin are addressed. Gideon is the assumed political heir the dad (Moi) prefers. He has always seemed to wait for the right time to show political strength or a clear indication that he is his own man. Will his character change? Will he be aggressive and take up his space? For now we can assume that Ruto is the kingpin of Rift Valley owing to his position as the Deputy President, charisma and aggressiveness. Gideon without the godfather has to now viciously battle it out with Ruto because nature dictates that politics is about numbers and without it, he remains just a prince safeguarding Baringo County votes and interests.

Another possible beneficiary by default in Rift Valley could be Raila. Moi’s political orphans the likes of Henry Kosgey, Franklin Bett and Sally Kosgei are of age now and still active on the grass roots. Are they likely to prefer Raila to Gideon and Ruto based on age and experience? Who would best safeguard their interests? Certainly not Ruto who already has his men, fresh and vibrant in politics ready to take over and by him being locked out of the ‘Kabarak courtesy calls’ the indication is clear that he is not preferred by the old guard who still has influence in Rift Valley politics. Will KANU survive without ‘Jogoo’ or will the members opt for other vibrant parties like ODM, Jubilee or even the little known Chama Cha Mashinani to secure political life lines and interests?

If at all there was a deal during the ‘Kabarak courtesy calls’ between Uhuru, Raila, Gideon and Kalonzo, then in Moi’s absence, Uhuru must now play a critical decisive role and by extension with Mama Ngina to ensure the deal remains. It is believed that Moi returned a favour to the Kenyatta family by ensuring that Uhuru becomes a successful politician at the executive level. Must he too return the favour? If yes then how? To what extent is the dynasty affected with Moi’s absence is the dilemma that welcomes an interesting phase of politics in Kenya especially now that the general elections are in 2022, only 34 months away!

As we pen this, Retired President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi is 95 years! Long live Baba Wa Taifa…