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The Politics of Rift Valley Gets Nasty


It was reported by the Star today 22 February 2016 that Deputy President William Ruto has launched a personal attack on Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, claiming the Senator for Baringo is uncircumcised at age 52. I do not know how true this is but it was reported that Ruto said that “we are Kalenjins, these guys making noise all around, castigating me, should know that we supported arap Moi for him to become President." He continued to lecture residents by holding that "Kalenjins stood by him shoulder-to-shoulder, until he became President, so this uncircumcised son of arap Moi should not bring us his stupidity by telling us that we cannot support other Kalenjin leaders from other families . . . tell them to leave us, to stop playing with us.” 
Speaking in vernacular Ruto is alleged to have claimed that  "We are Kalenjins, these guys making noise around, castigating me should know that we supported arap Moi (former President Daniel Moi) to become President. Kalenjins stood by him shoulder to shoulder until he became President so this uncircumcised son of arap Moi should not bring us his stupidity, telling us we cannot support other Kalenjin leaders from other families. All Kalenjins supported his father until he retired and now they are telling us we should not support others from another family. Tell them to leave us, to stop playing with us... and tell the one here (south Rift) that Kalenjins will not be divided. If you are man enough, then lead undivided Kalenjins - don't divide them on the basis of North Rift and South Rift. I told him we should build a university in Bomet but he said no, it should be built in Sigor. When we agreed on Sigor, he changed his mind again. Anyone who has decided to divide us (Kalenjins) has no end. I, Ruto, as I address you here, my father, arap Samoei Cheruiyot was born in Kiptere (Sigowet/Soin subcounty, Kericho), Kapkomosek clan. Am I a Nandi or Kipsigis? Are Nandis and Kipsigis relatives or not? Even if I speak Nandi dialect and the blood belong to Kipsigis, do I belong to Kalenjin or not? Then someone who is stupid, who cannot differentiate between yesterday and tomorrow, tells us Kipsigis and Nandis should part ways. Listen to me people of Rift Valley, we must remain united and speak in one voice."
I read this piece several times and was left wondering is this is the kind of politics that Kenya is ready for. It sounds interesting at first but looking at the Kenyan political terrain, these kinds of statements annoy than it amuse. The link between circumcision and leadership has caused this country more harm than good. That a leader high up in the second most powerful position in the land is engaged in this kind of politics is cause for alarm; it must make any intelligent Kenya really worried. If indeed Mr. Ruto said this then I must say that I am already worried at the level of political immaturity on display. This can only be said to be dirty politics. It could be starting from the Rift Valley but before we know it, the whole country will be consumed by such nasty political rhetoric ahead of 2017 elections. Later on we will say we have been shocked by what we see. No it shouldn't shock us then for we are here seeing how it actually brews up to those nasty things that we often see around election time. I ma still wondering if Ruto said this and if indeed he said it then we must be doing very badly. 

The Politics of Rift Valley Gets Nasty The Politics of Rift Valley Gets Nasty Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on February 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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