Gideon Moi

Gideon Moi speaks at a funeral service in honour of his father, late former Kenya President, Daniel Arap Moi, at the Nyayo Stadium in Nairobi on February 11, 2020. 

| File | Nation Media Group

More Mzee Moi family members to plunge into politics

What you need to know:

  • Mr Clinton Moi, a grandson of Moi, is targeting the Eldama Ravine parliamentary seat.
  • Ms Gladys Jeruto Tagi, a daughter-in-law, is weighing whether to vie for MP or the Koibatek MCA’s seat.

At the time of his death and after ruling for 24 years, President Daniel Moi had established a “dynasty”, with two of his sons, Gideon Moi and Raymond Moi, holding elective seats.

And as the August General Election approaches, the Nation has established that more of the Moi scions will join politics and are eyeing elective seats.

The two who have publicly announced their interest are Mr Clinton Moi, a grandson who is targeting the Eldama Ravine parliamentary seat, and Ms Gladys Jeruto Tagi, a daughter-in-law.

"It is true, I am vying for the Eldama Ravine parliamentary seat. Our people need fresh and young leadership that can transform lives, create jobs and end unemployment. I am confident I will get the opportunity to serve," Mr Clinton told the Nation in an interview. 

Mr Clinton has not announced his party. He will square it out with two of Deputy President William Ruto’s allies for the seat, among them the incumbent MP Moses Lessonet and former East African Community minister Musa Sirma.

Mr Sirma was previously a key ally of Senator Moi but decamped earlier this year.

Reached for comment on his political ambitions, Ms Tagi, who is said to be weighing whether to vie for MP or the Koibatek MCA’s seat, confirmed that she will be seeking an elective seat.

"I will vie for an elective seat in the August General Election, but I will give more details later," she said.

UDA aspirants

Besides Senator Moi, his elder brother Raymond is MP for Rongai in Nakuru.

And Senator Moi, Mzee Moi's youngest son, was endorsed last year to run for President, his seat, which he has held since 2013, started attracting new entrants.

UDA aspirants have been fronted to lock out the candidate Kanu will field. They include DP Ruto’s ally and Tenges ward MCA Silas Tochim, NHIF senior official Isaiah Kirukmet and Felix Chelaite, an Australian-based Chamber of Commerce member.

Baringo North MP William Cheptumo, a close ally of Dr Ruto, is also said to be considering whether to seek the Senate seat or defend his parliamentary seat for the fourth term.

The Nation has learnt that Kanu was planning to field a candidate in the race, pitting the independence party against Dr Ruto’s UDA.

"Since our party holds the Senate seat, we will again field a candidate to battle it out with the UDA candidate in next year’s elections. Kanu is still considering its options to pick the best candidate,” a top Kanu official said.

Raymond, is expected to face off with a UDA aspirant.

Two-horse race

Political analysts say the fight for the Rongai MP’s seat will be a two-horse race between Kanu and UDA.

"Raymond Moi must tighten his grip to retain his seat because the frosty relationship between Moi and Ruto could complicate matters for him,” lawyer and political analyst Steve Kabita told the Nation. 

“Raymond will have to burn the midnight oil and craft a winning strategy amid the UDA wave in the Rift Valley that is gaining momentum by the day.”

Five aspirants are salivating for the UDA ticket in the cosmopolitan constituency: Paul Kibet Chebor, a close ally of Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, Ms Gladys Kamuren, Peter Keitany, Billy Kiprop and Elijah Biwott.

Kanu has won the seat four times since it was hived off from the larger Nakuru North constituency - now Subukia - in 1988.

"The Mois still wield a lot of influence in Nakuru and Baringo counties' politics at the moment and it will not be an easy sail for UDA. They must work hard to whittle down the Kanu influence in the regions,” said political analyst Jesse Karanja.

Raymond Moi won the seat in 2013 and 2017 on a Kanu ticket. Earlier, he hinted that he may contest the Baringo senatorial or governor’s seat.

“So, some people think they can come and contest against me in 2022. What I can advise them is to pray that I go and take over Gideon’s seat or even governor because he is going for bigger things in 2022.

Stiff challenge

That way they can come and take over Rongai but they need my blessings,” he said.

In 2017, Raymond fought tooth and nail to fend off a stiff challenge from the Jubilee candidate, who conducted a well-oiled campaign aided by DP Ruto.

Kibet Komen, a son of former Rongai MP Willy Komen, whose campaign centred on the youth agenda, failed to make an impact despite huge resources at his disposal and the support of DP Ruto.

Mzee Moi had eight children - twins Philip and Doris, Jennifer, Jonathan, John Mark, Raymond, June and Gideon.

But the most well-known of them is his last-born, Gideon, the Baringo senator and Kanu chairman, who was born in 1964.

People close to Mzee Moi’s family say that he had told his entire family, years before his death, that Gideon was his preferred successor.

"Mzee Moi started grooming Gideon at a very early age and went out of his way to hold the young Moi's hand as he cut his political teeth,” said Mr Lee Njiru, who served Moi as press secretary for the 24 years he ruled Kenya.  

“Gideon was his preferred successor and everyone in the family knew.”