The Kalenjin’s Myoot Council of Elders has endorsed Deputy President William Ruto’s quest to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022.
The council, which brings together all the 11 sub-tribes of the Kalenjin community including Nandi, Kipsigis, Tugen, Marakwet, Keiyo, Pokot, Sabaot, Lembus, Sengwer, Ogiek, and Terik, also crowned Ruto the community’s kingpin and spokesperson.
Nation reports that the move is a blow to Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who has been rivaling Ruto for the mantle.
The Chairman of Myoot Council of Elders, Benjamin Kitur said the decision to endorse Ruto was out of merit, saying he has all the required traits to lead the community.
“There is no behind-the-scenes lobbying and the decision is arrived at after a lengthy consultation within the council. We deliberated on this matter the entire Sunday night and the 10 of us reached a consensus that Gideon should wait.”
“There has been a push and pull since 2016 on who should be the Kalenjin spokesperson. As community elders, we have taken this matter seriously and settled on DP Ruto, since he is capable of uniting us with other Kenyans and contesting for the presidency,” Kitur told Nation.
Last year, Talai elders formally installed Ruto as the Kalenjin kingpin following the death of former President Daniel Arap Moi.
During the dawn ceremony held at Kapsisiywa village in Nandi County, Ruto was handed sacred Kalenjin leadership regalia known as Sambut, Kuutwet, Sharit, and Rungut in addition to Kumiat (honey), and a Kalenjin bible.
Sambut symbolizes inclusive leadership, Kuutwet represents authority, while Sharit is a symbol for shepherding.