Why Ruto was blocked from seeing Mzee Moi
Two key allies of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi have explained why Deputy President William Ruto was not allowed to see retired President Daniel Moi on Thursday, further deepening the gulf between two strongly opposed camps in the Rift Valley as 2022 politics takes shape up early.
Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat, who usually speaks for Senator Moi, and Tiaty MP William Kamket, appeared to suggest the DP was to blame for the botched visit.
Mr Salat said as a retired President, “Mr Moi’s life was anchored in the constitution” with an elaborate and well-defined structure that clearly defines how meetings are held and conducted.
“Those who want to meet Mr Moi must ensure protocol is observed. People meet the retired President everyday because there is nothing private about his life. The DP arrived at the time Mzee was being attended to by his doctors and for us that was of paramount importance,” Mr Salat charged.
Mr Ruto’s office was on Friday mum on the charge that they didn’t book an appointment with Mr Moi before flying to Kabarak. The DP’s spokesman, David Mugonyi, had, however, earlier said the visit was private.
DP Ruto and Senator Moi — who have both declared interest in running for the Presidency in 2022 — are expected to meet on Saturday at the burial of Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim who died two weeks ago.
The two leaders’ speeches and body language will be closely watched as both lay a claim to a stranglehold of the region and can’t afford to miss the event.
“This matter involves two constitutional offices — that of the retired president and that of the deputy president. It is upon the two offices to explain how the hitch happened,” Mr Salat told Saturday Nation, arguing that those blaming the senator “had laid the foundation for it”.
Mr Ruto visited the retired President at his Kabarak home on Thursday afternoon but failed to meet him because of what Mr Moi’s office said coincided with doctors session with the 93-year-old leader.
Mr Ruto’s allies directed their indignation at Senator Moi, who they said had warned the retired president’s office against granting the DP an appointment for a meeting with Mr Moi.
But terming the Ruto visit “impromptu” and “a trespass”, Mr Kamket demanded those who claimed to have secured an appointment for the DP to be investigated.
“I was surprised to hear the DP had sneaked into Kabarak incognito in total breach of protocol. These are not two ordinary Kenyans. The DP’s office, just like the former president’s, has proper procedures to meet people of high status in the society,” the MP said on phone.
During the Kabarak visit, the Deputy President was accompanied by Energy CS Charles Keter, Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut and lawyer Stephen Kipkenda.
“Some people are fond of making crude arrangements. You cannot just go to somebody’s house without knocking. Proper arrangements should be done and of course following the due procedures. How can you go to somebody’s house yet he is not informed?” Mr Kamket posed.
The Kanu MP is seeking to amend the Constitution to broaden the executive, a move that has been opposed by Mr Ruto and his allies who see the Bill as aimed at blocking his ascension to the presidency in 2022.
“We agree this is a season of making amends and shaking hands. However, there are a number of con-MPs who have taken advantage to mislead the Deputy President of booking appointment with Moi at his Kabarak home. There was no appointment made and those who did that should be held accountable,” he added.
However, a section of political leaders heaped blames on Senator Moi and demanded that he apologise to the DP.
Tharaka Nithi governor Muthomi Njuki, MPs Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Joseph Tonui (Kuresoi South) and Nakuru County Jubilee party secretary general Peter Mtumishi Cheruiyot said Senator Moi was behaving ‘badly’ but warned critics that Mr Ruto’s journey to State House was unstoppable.
“These people are hell-bent on frustrating Mr Ruto’s ambitions. There is no way a whole DP would have gone all the way to Kabarak without an appointment,” Mr Njuki said, even as he asked Mr Ruto not to be cowed by the sideshows the event has generated.
“Votes are not in Kabarak but with the people. As the deputy president of Kenya, Mr Ruto has a contract with the people,” Mr Njuki added.
Mr Ngunjiri said: “It should be remembered that DP Ruto was very crucial in 1992 under YK-92 in ensuring Moi remained in power,” said Mr Ngunjiri.
Nandi senator Samson Cherargei, a close ally of the DP, maintained that the suspect denial was politically motivated by Mr Moi’s handlers for political expediency.
He questioned why other notable dignitaries including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga had been allowed to see the former president.
They spoke even as Rift Valley Council of Elders offered to mediate between DP Ruto and Senator Moi, warning that political differences between the two could cost the community the Presidency in 2022.