No turning back as Gideon Moi sets off on 2022 journey

Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi addresses delegates during National Delegates Conference at Bomas of Kenya on September 30, 2021. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

When his father former President Daniel Moi was alive, he kept to his private life.

Little was known about Gideon Moi even after he joined active politics in 2002 when he clinched the Baringo Central Parliamentary seat.

He inherited the seat from his father, who had held it for 40 years but lost it to Sammy Mwaita, who contested on an ODM ticket in 2007.

Gideon made a comeback in 2013 where he whitewashed his opponent Rev Jackson Kosgei with over 80 per cent of the total votes cast, winning the senatorial seat.

He maintained a low profile and many dismissed him as a novice who was riding on his father’s political career, being the last born. To some, his political star was deemed to die after his father’s death.

But during the funeral of his father who died on February 4, 2020, Raymond Moi, Gideon’s elder brother, passed the family’s political baton - fimbo ya nyayo - to him as a symbol of leadership during Moi’s reign.

“In terms of seniority, I am the leader of the family but politically let me hand it over to Gideon,” he said.

Gideon said the handover was a surprise. “Honestly I was not expecting this. And I promise to do my best,” he said. 

Ever since that historic event, Gideon has not disappointed in terms of keeping Mzee Moi’s political torch fiery. He has since established himself as a key political figure in the country and one of the leading contenders to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta as he retires next year. 

When he was re-elected to the Senate in 2017 he hinted that he would be going for the country’s top seat.

While making his acceptance speech in Kabarnet town soon after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) declared him the winner and handed him a certificate, Gideon coined his new slogan Toko Tai, loosely translated as “still ahead”.

He made it clear that the win was significant in preparing him for a higher political seat.

Gideon then started rebuilding political alliances that were laid on the foundation of his father’s 24-year reign and shaping new ones. He traversed the country as he drummed support for the Building Bridges Initiative.

The Kanu national chairperson has been consolidating his political support not only in his Rift Valley backyard but also across the country, setting in motion his bid for presidency.

Unite the country

He joined President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the initiative to unite the country after the famous ‘handshake’ between the two leaders.

Kanu has since entered a post-election coalition with the ruling Jubilee government in what is largely seen as a strategy to position himself in Uhuru’s succession.

Gideon has been building political alliances with like-minded politicians and marketing the revamped independence party, Kanu.

He has been reaching out to key political players and has since joined hands with key players like Raila (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Uhuru.

Being the party chairperson, he has transformed it and he intends to use it as a vehicle to carry him to State House when President Kenyatta completes his second term.

The senator’s journey to the presidency is at its peak.

On Sunday, after a church service at AIC Church in Tandui, Sacho Baringo County, the senator made clear that he will battle it out with others come 2022.

In his own words, Gideon said there is much he needs to do for the people not only in Baringo but for the whole country. Ready to take the bull by its horns, the senator said he is ready for the consequences in the new journey.

Lawyer Gordon Ogola, a member of Kanu’s National Executive Council, said the race to the top seat needs someone like Gideon.

“Gideon is a pedigree son of this country and his upbringing is properly anchored in politics, he has what it takes,” he said.

Further, Ogola says the Baringo Senator should not be seen as a passing cloud, adding that he has the right qualification to go for the top seat.

“Gideon goes for what he wants and he is one person who can make alliances with anyone. Let’s wait and see what is going to happen but I promise we will have a bruising battle,” he added.

Agreeing with the sentiments is Andrew Yatich, a senatorial aspirant in Nakuru who said Gideon is experienced and up to the task.

Yatich said following the announcement that Gideon will be in the ring then that changes the narrative as 2022 approaches. Gideon he said has a network and can tilt the numbers.

In January, Gideon was crowned the Kalenjin kingpin by Talai elders.

The elders handed him the community’s instruments of power and gave him the mandate to seek the presidency. With the coronation over, the elders said Gideon was ready for the task ahead of him, adding that he has the qualities of a leader.

Gideon was also installed a Borana elder days after his coronation by the Talai elders.

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Gideon Moi Kanu