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Section of elders dismiss move by Tugen Elders to return traditional instruments

By Titus Too | September 21st 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

A group of elders and Kanu leaders has dismissed a ceremony where traditional leadership instruments were reportedly handed over from Tugen to Nandi communities.

The elders dismissed as ‘selfish political interests’ claims that leadership instruments - Sambut (monkey skin), Rungut (baton), stool, Nokirwet (leadership stick) - that were used to bless Daniel arap Moi in 1955 in Kabiyet after his election to Legislative Council (Legco), had been returned to Nandi.

They said the Moi family still has the traditional instruments of leadership and that if there was any transfer, the larger Kalenjin community and the immediate Moi family could have ‘actively been involved.’

“We are shocked that a section of Myoot Council of Elders went to Sochoi and claimed to have received former President Moi’s leadership instruments. When we tried to find out who brought them, it was claimed that it was some elders from Baringo,” said David Chepsiror, an elder and Kanu official in Uasin Gishu.

Chepsiror who spoke alongside other officials in Eldoret yesterday, said some leaders want to use the gesture for their political interests.

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“The instruments were given to Moi and not elders. There was no time frame for the items to be returned. If at all the Kalenjin community wants the leadership instruments back, it will ask the Moi family to return them,” said Chepsiror.

He claimed that some political leaders want leadership by all means and want to confuse the community over the items.

“The wider Kalenjin community has not been consulted. We want the elders who claimed to have come from Tugen to come out and clear the air and tell the community who they are. The council of elders should be firm and stand by the truth and not take a partisan stand,” said Chepsiror.

Yussuf Keitany, an elder and Kanu member from Elgeyo Marakwet County, said the instruments of power were transferred to Raymond Moi who in turn said he would hand over the leadership instruments to Gideon Moi.

“Had Moi family members been part of the delegation that reportedly handed over the items to Nandi, then we could have respected the move. Since they were not, we do not recognise the ceremony,” said Keitany.

He said Myoot elders comprises nine sub-tribes of Kalenjin community and wondered how Tugen and Nandi elders could carry out such a ceremony without consulting the rest.

Kipkorir Menjo, another elder, urged elders not to be used for political interest.

"When Koitalel arap Samoei’s leadership batons were brought from London, an open ceremony for the entire community and country was held at Eldoret town hall."

Myoot Council of Elders Sambut leadership instruments
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