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Barng'etuny: Auctioneer who merged goats, politics

Old school

Ezekiel Barng’etuny was a staunch supporter of Kanu and its late leader, former President Daniel Moi. The man who called himself a “Kanu Life Member” went to the same school as Moi in Kapsabet, Nandi.

Barng’etuny was a successful businessman and farmer in addition to being a politician.

His strong loyalty, stand, and love for Kanu and Moi propelled him to power quickly, and he became Moi’s closest point man. He became one of the most powerful politicians during Moi’s reign.

Because of his closeness to the powers that be, he became revered by many, but despised by politicians who were dissatisfied with how he wielded power.

Barngetuny, whose home was in Tinderet, Nandi County, attended the famous Kimalel Goat Auction in Baringo County on occasion.

Moi had established this market in order to improve the living conditions of his community members. Moi had chosen Barng’etuny to be the market’s chief auctioneer.

His great humour and unique selling antics at the goat market resulted in the sale of thousands of goats, sheep, and cows, making him popular at the time. Many people in Baringo and other parts of the country remember him to this day.

He was determined to use his talent to help Baringo residents improve their economic situations. As a result, many of the residents became self-sufficient.

Despite his dedication to auctioning goats, Barngetuny was a wealthy man with several properties to his name. Among these are more than 2,000 acres of farmland in Nandi on which he practised farming, high-end vehicles, Plazzas and apartments in Eldoret and Kapsabet, commercial and residential buildings, and so on.

He was a man with unique leadership qualities and deep insight. His exemplary virtues of commitment to responsibility and hard work inspired and still motivate many.

Barng’etuny died at 92 in 2014 while undergoing treatment at Nairobi. He was mourned by various dignitaries including President Dr. William Ruto (then deputy president) who referred to him as a man of hard work and a great sense of humour.

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