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New dawn as Kanu’s cockerel crows again

POLITICS
By Judah Ben-Hur | October 1st 2021
Bakari Manga aka Moi Jnr from Kitale during KANU's National Delegates Conference at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi .September 30, 2021. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, Kenya National African Union (Kanu) flung its feathers- black, red, green, and white-all in tandem with the national flag.

The mood at Bomas was vibrant, the scenery spectacular and the people, donned in either red, black, or green waved Kanu flags celebrating a party that brought back memories of the old days.

In one of the two colossal, snow-white tents, meticulously decorated with sparkling Kaleidoscopic lights, were seated thousands of people eagerly waiting to hear what Kanu Chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi had recently said would be “shocking.”

KANU’s National Delegates Conference (NDC) meeting had pulled Kenyans from the remotest enclaves of the country.

Before dew had vaporised from the grass at Bomas of Kenya, many of those who first took to the seats were grey and old, their dusty shoes and coat openly telling the story of a long journey made to the relaunch of the party they reminiscently loved.

The music was loud, but the people, calmly shielded from the piercing Nairobi sun didn’t seem festered, their bodies swayed with the groove of Bob Marley’s One Love and their hearts beckoned for what was about to come.

Maybe it was the five-star breakfast they had been served-tea, sausages, cakes, arrowroots and sweet potatoes-, maybe it was the love they had for the party.

With cowboy hats topping their heads, many men walked with a rungu-a form of tribute to the late former president Daniel Arap Moi who is considered a senior patron of the party.

However, the trademark rungu was now in the hands of Gideon Moi following an official handing over during the late president’s burial ceremony which saw his elder brother and Rongai member of parliament Raymond pass the baton to Gideon.

“I am the leader of this family now,” said Rongai MP Raymond Moi during his father’s retired President Daniel Arap Moi burial in February 2020. “

“But in politics, it will be Gideon,” he stated while handing his younger brother the rungu his father wielded for many decades.

If one thing was certain at Bomas, it is that a new age had come for KANU.
“KANU ni baba na mama- KANU is the father and Mother” echoed many of the party’s members who spoke to The Standard.

For many of the elderly folk at Bomas, the party represented the government they knew in their hay days.

Musa Mdoga Akim cannot recall when he joined KANU. “All I remember is that I had no beard by then,” says Akim his eyes sinking into a past so far away. At 73 years old, Akim- once a KANU youth leader and later a secretary from Uasin-Gishu- sees his party as the only steadfast political vehicle that can serve Kenyans.

“Even after all these years, when I see the KANU flag, my heart melts away. I loved the leadership of KANU because it cared about the people’s needs and has never crumbled like other parties,” says Akim.

But Akim is not alone, travelling from Murang’a County, Ernest Musa, the party secretary in the area says he is here to witness the rebirth of KANU and his expectation is to have the Chairman of the party, Gideon Moi to contest for the presidency in 2022.

For a people who had stayed loyal to the party for decades, Akim and other delegates’ expectations became a dream come true when KANU’s National Governing Council (NGC) and the delegates officially declared Baringo Senator as the party’s flag bearer in the 2022 general elections.

“Our half-time is over and we are back,” declared the overjoyed Gideon Moi.
With a political hiatus from the helm of power spanning almost two decades, KANU, now branded as KANU-FRESH outlined the plans to rid Kenya of the troubles that have bedeviled the country.

“We need to restore the dignity of our people. Our people’s concerns and frustrations must keep us awake at night,” stated Senator Moi.

Starting from humble beginnings as Kenya African Union (KAU)- a party formed to champion the rights of Africans against British colonial rule, KANU would evolve to produce two presidents ruling for almost 40 years.

A deeper look into the current political scene shows that most of the current veteran politicians including, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and even Prime Minister Raila Odinga show that they were once senior members of KANU.

“We are a leadership incubation center and all presidents in this country have come through the party,” said Senator Moi.

But KANU is not just a party for the old folks. Settled in the second tent with seats carefully arranged to reflect the Kenyan flag and also KANU’s colours, were young people from across the country who believe that it is time to go back to the roots of Kenya’s democracy.

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