The rival between Deputy President William Ruto and Kanu’s Gideon Moi took centre stage at the burial of former nominated Member of Parliament Mark Too in Eldoret on Monday, January 9.
The two, who chose to speak in Kalenjin, exchanged words in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta who later urged elderly Kalenjin politicians to emulate Too and help bring residents together.
Trouble started when Gideon, whose Kanu refused to fold up and join Jubilee Party against Ruto’s wishes, urged politicians who lose at the latter’s nominations to be ready to join the independence party.
That irked Ruto’s close allies including Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale, who responded harshly.
The Baringo Senator was representing his father – retired President Daniel Moi – and said all politicians have the right to seek leadership.
“If I go looking for leadership and I succeed, all of you will be happy, just like if someone else succeeds,” Gideon who is currently fighting for political dynasty in Rift Valley as he preps to succeed Uhuru in 2022, said.
Gideon also asked President Uhuru to directly seek support from the Kalenjin community, instead of relying on Ruto. The latter has also declared interest in the 2022 presidential race.
But when DP Ruto stood to address the mourners, he held nothing back. He said: “Some of these people who were not with us last time are now telling Uhuru to come and talk to Kalenjins directly. He knows how we won last time and we will do the same this time. It is not them to advise us.”
“It will not be possible for those thinking they will divide us this time.” An evidently irritated Ruto said in Kalenjin, adding that once a decision has been made on the direction to take, it is impossible to change course.
According to Uhuru’s number two, if Moi had not been tough, he could not have ascended to power and unite Kalenjins like he did. DP Ruto said he was ready to fight his way in politics.