What you need to know:
- Council members who spoke to the Nation said the “coronation” of DP Ruto was endorsed by all the five sub-clans of the Talai and can therefore not be disputed.
- Mr Saina accused the group led by Mr Koyogi of tarnishing the clan’s image by seeking money from politicians.
Controversy around the Talai Council of Elders has deepened following a decision to expel vice-chairman Christopher Koyogi.
This is after he dismissed the installation of Deputy President William Ruto as the Kalenjin community’s kingpin.
Addressing journalists yesterday at Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, the council's chairman James Baasi and Secretary-General Moses Saina said the elders had agreed to kick out Mr Koyogi for causing disunity among members and going against the cultural rites of the clan.
Mr Baasi disclosed that 22 of 25 council members had backed the move to kick out Mr Koyogi for “tarnishing” the image of the clan, which over the years has played a key role in crowning and blessing leaders.
“Today’s meeting brought together Talai elders from Nandi, Kericho, Uasin Gishu and Trans-Nzoia and ... who have resolved that Mr Koyogi must be expelled for using his position to undermine our leaders,” he said.
“With immediate effect, Mr Koyogi is prohibited from using the powers of the Talai to bless any leader seeking political leadership,” added Mr Saina.
Council members who spoke to the Nation said the “coronation” of DP Ruto was endorsed by all the five sub-clans of the Talai and can therefore not be disputed.
Kericho Talai elders chairman David Saina said that once a leader has been blessed, it can never be undone, even if some individuals are not happy with it.
“Even if we did not attend the coronation ceremony due to Covid-19, we fully support it,” he said.
Mr Saina accused the group led by Mr Koyogi of tarnishing the clan’s image by seeking money from politicians.
“Mr Koyogi and team are people who are after using the issuing of this honorary title to enrich themselves,” Mr Saina said.
Others accused the group led by Mr Koyogi of engaging in political sycophancy rather than adhering to the cultural protocols of the clan.
“It is very unfortunate that one member has decided to mislead the whole country for his personal interests ... we know he wanted another leader to be crowned instead of DP Ruto,” Mr Amos Korir said.
The Nation has learnt that days before the installation, Mr Koyogi met with DP Ruto in Nairobi. It remains unclear what transpired for him to later dismiss the event. But the DP’s director of communication said he was not aware of such a meeting.
Elder Frederick Songol said the leadership regalia that was given to retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi was never returned, but they are allowed to look for others to adorn the next leader.
Mr Koyogi and some elders had warned about a possible curse unless the DP seeks cleansing for going against the clan’s cultural practice in the dawn ceremony.
The elders disclosed that President Uhuru Kenyatta is still in possession of the traditional leadership regalia and another leader cannot be groomed for a similar position before the Head of State completes his term. But Mr Songol dismissed Mr Koyogi’s assertions as inconsequential.
“When we crowned the late Moi, those accession items given to him were never returned, so it is upon his children to decide what to do with them” he explained.
“But since he died without a Kalenjin kingpin being chosen, we had to wait for three months after his burial to fill the vacuum he left.”
The dissenting elders have demanded that the DP consult Nandi elders and the bona fide Talai elders for the cleansing ceremony.
“It is upon the DP and his associates to follow the right cultural channel and have both Nandi and Talai elders meet and perform the cleansing ceremony,” Mr Koyogi said, adding that they will not coax Dr Ruto to perform the rights.
Additional reporting by Barnabas Bii