Leaders call for unity among the Kalenjin community even as its two sons eye the country’s highest seat.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has told off political leaders who want to draw him into the 2022 succession politics.
The Kanu chairman said criticism from detractors will not hinder him from achieving his political ambition.
“Who doesn’t know me? Frogs will make noise and however much, it will not stop a cow from taking water,” said the Senator in Salawa, Baringo County, during the burial of Mr Wilson Chepkoit yesterday.
If Deputy President William Ruto and those aligned to him wanted a handshake, he said, they should go to him with clean hands.
Tiaty MP William Kamket had earlier rubbished claims that Gideon had met the DP, saying propaganda will lead Kenya nowhere.
Gideon joined the family, friends and relatives of Chepkoit in mourning the former teacher, eulogising him as a generous man worth emulating. “He was a simple man, a great intellect, a great founder of Baringo. He is gone but I stand in courage because of the legacy he left,” he said.
Gideon also passed a message of condolence from former President Daniel Moi.
Leaders who attended the burial called on the Kalenjin community to be united.
Baringo Governor Stanley Kiptis, his deputy Jacob Chepkwony, Daniel Chemno (Uasin Gishu deputy governor) and MPs William Cheptumo (Baringo North) and Joshua Kandie of Baringo Central were amongst the mourners.
Others were Baringo Woman Rep Gladwell Cheruiyot, Chepalungu MP Gideon Koskei, former Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and Baringo County Commissioner Henry Wafula.
Kamket said the time to make hard decision is coming and Kenyans should prepare for it. “Going forward as a community with two leaders, we have to align ourselves with the one who has enough friends from outside the community,” he said.
Koskei said the community should agree on who between Gideon and Ruto should vie for the presidency first.
“Let’s do our calculations well so that we may not lose in the end,” he said. But Cheptumo said the priority of the Kalenjin community is to unite.
“We have no option other than the unity of the Kalenjin nation,” said Cheptumo.
He called on the Tiaty MP to support suggestions that Gideon and Ruto should meet.
“We should encourage handshakes,” he said.
Governor Kiptis said there is need to avert deaths from lifestyle diseases.
He asked the government to build a cancer centre in Baringo County.
His deputy mourned Mzee Chepkoit as a transformer of lives, saying Baringo was mourning and celebrating a life well lived.
“He was a transformer of lives, he transformed his own and that of the society. We have lost a leader, a man who touched the lives of many,” Chepkwony said.
In a send-off that turned in to a celebration and the revelation of a plan to establish an education foundation in his honour, Chepkoit was eulogised as a humble teacher, staunch disciplinarian and a pillar.
“His children will establish a centre of excellence at Eron to honour him as a great mentor and educationist who believed and invested in education,” said Dr Ben Chepkoit, his first born son.