Chelugui’s hidden hand in trouncing of Moi siblings
As the dust settles on the August 9 election that saw the fall of second President Daniel arap Moi’s sons, Gideon and Raymond, the behind-the-scenes role played by Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui can be revealed.
Insiders now divul;ge that Chelugui (pictured) was the silent force that saw President-elect William Ruto secure victory over the “Moi dynasty” in the Rift Valley region and Baringo in particular.
Pundits point to a series of events, including his appointment to the Cabinet in 2018, that have elevated Chelugui’s position in Ruto’s circles.
“His appointment was intended to counter the influence of Gideon in Baringo and I think he delivered,” Kiptum Binott, a political analyst.
Before he was appointed to the Cabinet, Chelugui had lost to Gideon in the Senate race in the 2017 General Election.
Chelugui also unsuccessfully ran for Baringo governor in the 2013 election.
Binott further points at an event held at Ruto’s Sugoi home in the New Year’s Eve in 2020 where the latter persuaded him (Chelugui) not to vie for any elective seat in 2022 so that he could help him at the national arena.
“Ruto himself asked Chelugui not to run and this goes to show the level of confidence he has in him,” said Binott.
In the end, he said, the UDA team “swallowed” Kanu with senator Moi being the biggest casualty after he lost to outgoing Baringo North MP William Cheptumo.
A three-term MP, Cheptumo trounced Moi by garnering 141,777 votes, while the incumbent came second with 71,408 votes.
Regarding Rongai, Binott noted Paul Chebor, who floored Raymond, is a longtime friend of the CS.
“He is the one who held his hand even when some thought he didn’t have a chance against the mighty Moi family,” he said.
Binott explained that in February, the CS hosted a delegation from Rongai at his home and that is where the journey to Parliament started for Chebor.
In an interview, Chelugui attributed the success of UDA in the election to concerted efforts of many players.
“First, we won because of the hard work of our party leader Ruto,” he said.
Regarding the fall of Senator Moi, he said: “If there is a role I played then it is (first) raising the profile of our party leader (Ruto) in Baringo because despite my busy schedule, I was always with the people,” Chelugui said.
He said through his position in the Cabinet, several key projects were initiated in Baringo in the last five years.
“We have more than three key roads that have been tarmacked in Baringo. These are places that residents never thought they would see a tarmac road in their lifetime,” he said.