The Kalenjin Council of Elders commonly known as the Myoot has declared the Kalenjin Kingship position vacant after receiving the instruments of power President Moi was given by the council in 1978. The Kalenjin Community, according to the customs should only have one undisputed community leader at a time, who is only replaced upon death.
President Daniel Moi has been holding this position up until his passing away in February this year. It is recalled, Gideon Moi was handed over the mantle for Moi family leadership and not for the Kalenjin Community.
William Ruto’s handlers are faced with two challenges in his way to be crowned the Kalenjin Community Kingpin, a position he will hold until death. First is the Gideon Moi factor, which has played out in public.
Elders from both leaders clans within the Tugen and Nandi subtribes have endorsed their respective sons Gideon Moi (Tugen) and William Ruto (Nandi) for the position.
Even though Ruto has a stronger political presence in the Rift Valley, the Moi family has been so close with the elders and they are in good standing. This, Ruto men believe may not make the leadership transition exercise easy, but are confident they will triumph.
The other factor, which has given the DP and his men headache is the Christianity factor. After undergoing a traditional ceremony in Nandi in June, the DP received widespread criticism on the exercise which was conducted by his clan’s Talai elders.
His Christian veil was lifted and the ceremony portrayed a man who preaches against African customs and traditions, calling them witchcraft but embraces the same in the dark.
The coronation of a new Kalenjin leader, after 42 years will be a strongly traditional affair and no outsiders, including a foreign deity is allowed. It will be a tough balancing act seeing the DP donning traditional regalia while at the same time condemning it on other leaders.