HE Senator from Baringo, Gideon Moi, is a politician with a real dilemma. He has two choices that could greatly influence the course of his political destiny. Should he join the Opposition in the intended Super Alliance to oust his old schoolmate Uhuru Kenyatta, or should he eat humble pie and support his father’s political protégé and thereby play second fiddle to his bitter rival William Ruto?
Either path would have farreaching ramifications for him. He risks annoying his father if he supports Opposition supremo Raila Odinga, but also risks political oblivion if he doesn’t.
His position is further compounded by the fact that his old friend-turned-foe Ruto pushed him away to claim political supremacy and inherited the older Moi’s political domination of the Rift Valley, which Gideon considers properly his.
The story reads like the biblical account of Esau and Jacob the two rival grandchildren of Abraham. It was Jacob (Ruto) who, by guile, usurped the rightful inheritance of Esau (Moi) whom their father Isaac (Daniel Moi), had favoured to inherit him. Gideon’s bitterness with Ruto prevents him from fully supporting this government.
If Raila Odinga wins the next election without Gideon’s input, he will owe Moi nothing and so may just frustrate any future ambitions of the Moi and Kenyatta families.
However, to join the Opposition and be a part of the drive to unseat his old schoolmate may not go down well with the former President. It would break his heart. If Raila gets in, he will likely ensure that the names of Kenyatta and Moi, who were his father’s greatest tormentors, never cross the lips of new generations of Kenyans except as curses. Gideon will have dug his own grave.
Gideon finds himself without a clear path to the Presidency if Ruto gets in through to 2032.
To run independently next year would push him down politically, particularly among the Kalenjin. And should Raila beat Uhuru, the Kalenjins won’t forgive him for being the spoiler. To run in 2022, he may also serve as spoiler value while in 2032 he will no longer be relevant in the scheme of things.
When Hamlet asks his famous question ‘to be or not to be’ perhaps Gideon should just continue along the middle path, even if for now it leads to nowhere. Otherwise, as Hamlet says, he would “…bear the whips and scorns of time”.