Gideon in catch-22 as polls draw near
Eight months after Baringo Senator Gideon Moi launched his presidential bid, the Kanu chairman is finding himself in a catch-22 with less than three months to the August 9 General Election.
In the last few days, Moi has left many - including his supporters - guessing about what the future portends for him after he appeared to be caught in the power struggle within the Azimio-One Kenya Alliance.
Indeed, he left tongues wagging after making a technical appearance at KICC on Monday where Orange Democratic Movement party leader Raila Odinga was unveiling Martha Karua (Nark Kenya party leader) as his running mate.
The publicity-shy Moi - who coincidentally owns an influential media house - later joined Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at the SKM Centre in Karen, where the latter was due to make a major announcement after failing to clinch the running-mate’s slot in Raila’s camp.
As rumours started swelling, Moi, the youngest son of the late President Moi sent out a statement reiterating his commitment and dedication to the Azimio-One Kenya Alliance even as Kalonzo declared he was charting a new political path.
“We remain committed to the aspirations and guiding principles of Azimio- One Kenya coalition and its mission of inclusivity. And to this end, we shall leave no one behind,” Moi said.
While he is blowing hot and cold on his political plans regarding the August 9 General Election, reports abound that he is climbing down from his presidential ambitions and will defend his Senate seat.
“I wish to take this opportunity to reassure you individually and collectively that we focused on the unity of all Kenyans as per our party values of peace, love and unity,” he said.
Yesterday, the Kanu secretary in charge of political affairs, Fredrick Okang’o, declined to divulge if the reports doing rounds are true or not.
“The notice will be gazetted; if he is running you’ll know. Just wait a little you’ll be updated accordingly,” Okang’o said.
In an interview with People Daily yesterday, Baringo County Kanu co-ordinator David Chesaro expressed fears that Moi’s political career was uncertain.
A longtime supporter of Kanu and Moi, Chesaro expressed fears that the senator’s ‘miscalculation’ in the last few months could send him into the political cold again after a similar spell between 2007 and 2013.
“If I were him, I would do what President Uhuru Kenyatta did in 2007 when he dropped his bid and supported President Mwai’s second term bid,” he said: “There is no harm if he supports DP Ruto.”
He said from his observation, Ruto commands a fanatical following in the region and it’ll be foolhardy for anyone to go against the grain.
“He just needs to support Ruto and he’ll easily reclaim his seat,” he said.
However, former Cabinet Minister Franklin Bett was more candid in his assessment of the uncertainty surrounding Moi’s political future. He particularly blamed indecisiveness for the predicament he finds himself in.
“Let me put it this way. A party leader has to be a person with a clear focus and vision to be able to coordinate and lead the membership of the party,” he said.
“The moment a leader appears to be indecisive, such a person is not worth it and I would tell him to go home and do other things,” Bett said, hinting that Moi lacks firmness in his political undertakings.
Bett, who was at one time the State House Comptroller during President Daniel arap Moi’s tenure, said Senator Moi has failed to provide leadership for Kanu and his supporters.
“My observation is that he has failed in his obligation,” he said.
Another Kanu branch official from Baringo who talked on condition of anonymity shared his sentiments saying Moi had ‘abandoned’ them and they, too, do not know whether he will be vying or not.
“This is the question we are asking and unfortunately we do not have an answer now. Hopefully, he will communicate with us soon,” he said.
Senator Moi joined politics in 2002, replacing is father as the MP for Baringo Central. He failed to recapture his seat in the 2007 General Election. However, he was re-elected in 2013 as Senator for Baringo, a position he retained in 2017.