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Gideon’s 2022 plan as he keeps his cards hidden

By Julius Chepkwony | March 22nd 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (left) with former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu at his Kabarak home in Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]

When Gideon Moi recaptured the Baringo senatorial seat in 2017, he described the win as a stepping stone to greater political achievements.

“The journey to serving the country in a higher position has just started,” he said.

Since then, he has not looked back.

And when Raymond Moi passed his father’s baton to Gideon signifying that he is the political head of the Moi family, he brought into the game another key player in the country’s political arena. On that afternoon of February 12, Gideon joined the third leg of the triad that will shape the country’s political future.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, ex-premier Raila Odinga and now the Kanu national chairman will make some crucial moves on the country’s political chess board. These moves will define the future. 

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It was evident that for as long as Mzee Moi was alive, Gideon was going to remain in the shadows, playing the role of an obedient son, ushering in his father’s guests and listening quietly to the political conversations.

But now, the baton and the family’s wealth make him a very serious player in the country’s political arena.

Political kingpin

Gideon has been plotting to topple Deputy President William Ruto as the Rift Valley political kingpin. According to his allies and confidants, the Baringo Senator is quietly amassing support in the region. He has also been seeking support from across the country through friends and like-minded politicians before declaring his candidature for the 2022 polls.

“Even before his father’s death, there were activities around Kabarak. And after the burial, he has hosted several delegations of goodwill who have been urging him to come out in the open and make a declaration,” said a confidant.

However, Gideon is yet to reveal his plans owing to the respect he has for Kenyans and President Uhuru Kenyatta. He has only come out as a leader keen on ensuring that his father’s political legacy lives on.

Quietly, he has been consolidating political support in his Rift Valley backyard. His party, Kanu has been engaging a number of political parties, including Isaac Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM).

In the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), he has been working closely with perceived Jubilee Party rebels like Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos and Moiben MP Silas Tiren.

As Gideon works on consolidating his support in the Rift and hosting delegations from across the republic, his party Kanu has embarked on a process to reconstitute itself and putting in place structures in order to comply with all legal requirements.

Nick Salat, the Kanu secretary general, says the party is on a revival path to recapture its past glory.

“We are in the process of re-branding and teaming up with like-minded individuals and political parties,” he says of the initiative to revive one of Kenya’s oldest political parties

Salat says when the 40 days of mourning Mzee Moi lapse as per Kalenjin traditions, Kanu will roll out an elaborate plan to popularise the party and its leader. “Our campaign will start here in Rift Valley and extend to other parts of the country where we still enjoy support,” he said.

But this campaign is bound to put Gideon on a political collision course with Ruto. The Deputy President is keen to solidify his Rift Valley backyard ahead of his 2022 presidential bid.

Although the party is cagey about Gideon’s ambitions to succeed President Kenyatta, Salat maintains that Kanu’s desire is to revamp and position itself for the 2022 contest.

According to Tiaty MP William Kamket, Kanu will have “a presidential candidate known to the people” by the time the country goes to the 2022 General Election.

“We have been meeting the people and Kanu will have a presidential candidate known to you. We will have a flag bearer,” the MP told Sunday Standard in a recent interview.

Gideon, who is the Kanu national chairman, has been working closely with Raila of ODM, Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper, Musalia Mudavadi of ANC and Maendeleo Chap Chap’s Alfred Mutua among others.

Though Gideon has not made clear his intentions to vie for the presidency in 2022, some leaders  and political analysts say he is a man to watch. Others have also endorsed him and says he is the right man to lead the nation.

Political analyst Herman Manyora says many think Gideon is toothless but fail to understand the dynamics. 

Manyora says there is nothing wrong with Gideon going for the top seat. He however notes that the handshake team will decide whether he will go for the seat in 2022. “Gideon is in line for succession but fundamentally he is part of a team, the handshake and the BBI. Come 2022, it will not be what he wants but what the team wants,” he said.

Manyora says the team might decide to have someone else contest as they prepare the Baringo Senator for the big seat. However, Gideon has on several occasions said when the time for politics comes, he will roll up his sleeves and hit the road. He has also hinted that Kanu has greater plans ahead of 2022.

At a recent event in Kabarak, Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba said they are aware of what is in Gideon’s mind and his intentions even without him saying. Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga has also warned those belittling the senator. Wanga said Gideon is an outstanding leader who combines strength, humility and compassion and is someone to watch.

Leadership qualities

She termed Gideon a key political figure in the Rift Valley. “He is a leader to watch in the politics of Rift Valley and the country at large. The apple never falls too far from the tree,” Wanga said.

Hardly a week ago, Laikipia leaders endorsed the senator for the presidency come 2022. Former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel said Gideon is not tainted like other politicians.

Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina said Gideon has demonstrated leadership qualities like his father. He said Gideon is free to meet the people and promised to take him around the country.

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu said he was ready to campaign for Gideon in Central Kenya and urged him to make the big announcement. He claimed that he was still the chair of the Kanu in Embakasi, Nairobi, and a life member of the party. “Mr chairman (referring to Gideon), I want to assure you of my support, knowing too well the party is safe in your hands.”

 


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