fbpx

Gideon Moi, son of late retired president, takes up his father’s legacy

Kenyans were given a front-row seat to the political and military elite paying final respects to one of their own in an elaborate state burial of retired President Daniel arap Moi in a show of disciplined pomp and circumstance.

Underlying all that was a powerful sub-text of political transition that cemented the fact that indeed, this is a country where power will continue to reside with the family dynasties of Mount Kenya, Nyanza and Rift Valley.

When elder brother Raymond Moi passed on his father’s ivory baton to younger brother Gideon Moi in a symbolic enthronement as the political head of the Moi family, he brought into play the third leg of the triad that will, for another two or three generations, decide who runs this country.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and now Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi will be moving the kings and queens on the chess board that will define the country’s political future.

For as long his father was alive, Gideon Moi was going to remain in the shadow, playing the role of obedient son ushering in his father’s guests and quietly listening in on the conversations.

SEIZING OPPORTUNITY

The elaborate state burial of retired President Daniel arap Moi gave Kenyans a ringside view of the political and military elite paying homage to one of their own in a majestic show of disciplined pomp and order.

Underlying all that was a powerful sub-text of political transition that cemented the fact that indeed, this is a country where power will continue to reside with the family dynasties of Mount Kenya, Nyanza and Rift Valley.

When elder brother Raymond Moi passed on his father’s ivory baton to younger brother Gideon Moi in a symbolic enthronement as the political head of the Moi family, he brought into play the third leg of the triad that will, for another two or three generations, decide who runs this country.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and now Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi will be moving the kings and queens on the chess board that will define the country’s political future.

For as long his father was alive, Gideon Moi was going to remain in the shadow, playing the role of obedient son ushering in his father’s guests and quietly listening in on the conversations.

SEIZING OPPORTUNITY

Now he has the baton and the money to make him a very serious player in the national political arena.

The seeds that eventually grew into the giant political dynasty were planted way back when, in the twilight of the colonial era in Kenya, Mr Odinga’s father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, declined the opportunity to lead the country, insisting that Uhuru Kenyatta’s father, Jomo Kenyatta, be first released from detention.

Jomo as president repaid that significant favour by making Jaramogi his vice-president, but the latter’s ambitions and political philosophy diverged from the then president’s and he had to be locked down for a long time.

But his son picked up where dad left and Raila has become the giant that bestrides Kenya’s politics – running for the top seat four times, losing some and having victory stolen from him on another occasion.

Jomo died in power and his trusted assistant, Daniel arap Moi, took over. A man of modest means in 1978 when he became president, he died fabulously wealthy.

LOYALTY

He used his office to build a Moi dynasty that had vast resources and which had the largesse to buy the loyalty of the wider Kalenjin nation because he knew that in Kenya, political power must rest on tribal loyalty.

But he also knew that he needed the pillar of support of another key tribe, and he chose to repay Jomo Kenyatta’s confidence by protecting the latter’s family and actively grooming a successor from the Kikuyu tribe.

Uhuru Kenyatta confessed as much in his moving homage to the retired president, saying that the Kenyattas owe their riches, and him his political career, to the late Moi.

So Jomo Kenyatta allowed the Odinga dynasty to thrive because they supported him in those early days. Moi nurtured the Kenyattas because he owed his presidency to Mzee.

Now Uhuru and Raila must pay back and give Gideon Moi the support he requires to consolidate the Moi dynasty. And they will give it to him.

STOPPING RUTO

Not so much because of himself but because they need him to boost their arsenal against Deputy President William Ruto.

The Odinga and Kenyatta dynasties do not want Dr Ruto to ascend to the throne because he will be re-writing a script that they do not want interfered with.

Gideon Moi fits the bill because he is of the right pedigree. Brought up rich and in power, he is amenable to cut deals that allow the bourgeoisie to consolidate power won and kept on the tyranny of the numbers of the dominant tribes.

Which is why a lot of resources – yes State resources – will be used to ensure that Gideon Moi upsets the William Ruto dominance in the Rift Valley.

Any pretender to the throne, like the deputy president, must be made to understand that unless you are an insider in the dynasties, you can only serve at their pleasure. That is what the Uhuru-Raila handshake consolidated.