The history informs all of us that the Deputy President William Kipchrchir Ruto was born to the family of the late Daniel Cheruiyot and Sarah Ruto who resided in Kamagut village in Nandi dominated Uasin Gishu County but Kipsigis community from South Rift have sustained a theory that believes that the dependable leader is rooted to them.
It is not their fault, the following analysis will broadly shed more light on why this largest Kalenjin community thirsts and hunger for a leader to own and relate to.
Since the death of the selfless but poor Cabinet Minister Kipkalya Kones who could spent all his salary and savings to help members of Kipsigis community drawn from Transmara, Nakuru, Kericho, Narok South and Bomet who used to throng his home for help, he left the community in the hands of selfish successors whose thoughts and deeds never go beyond “me and my family”.
Selfless Kipkalya left no wealth for the wives and children but out of his generosity, left blessing from grateful electorate who he sacrificially served and this is manifested through his elder wife Beatrice Kones who has been elected twice to National Assembly, co-wife Lily Kones nominated to Nakuru County Assembly while the husband to his daughter Chelangat is the current Belgut MP.
Among the students he sponsored and mentored is the Emurua Dikkir MP Johanna Ngeno whom he pulled out of charcoal burning in Tinet forest to pursue an International Law course in Ukraine.
This article is not about Kipkalya’s family but vividly illustrates the capacities and incapacities among the Kipsigis. The largest community lacks ardent leaders and key infrastructural projects compared to the North Rift region whose leaders have lobbied for airports, fertilizer manufacturing firm, National referral hospital as well as recently launched Rivatex Company.
The first bunch of leaders is represented by the former Statehouse comptroller/Cabinet Minister Franklin Bett and his rival Zakayo Cheruiyot who was former powerful Internal Security PS during Moi’s regime.
Throughout his life, Bett recorded the history of using public office to betray his community interests in the chase of own gains. When his community was in No campaign during the 2010 referendum, he, Laboso and Magerer was Raila Odinga’s lieutenants from the Kipsigis land.
They amassed expansive acres of land across the country for themselves but did not achieve much beyond recruiting brilliant youth to police and military because their leadership was characterized by a fear of the unknown, fear of competition from juniors and supremacy competition to win and retain the heart of Mzee Moi who capitalized in divide and rule system.
Former Chepalungu MP John Koech belongs to their crop but he was in his own world and also had his heart away from home with no vision for his people whatsoever, that is why he today has no noteworthy wealth or legacy but forced to herd his few dairy cows in his Kiriba home.
Confirming some incidences here, German diarist Anne Frank said in one of her diaries that no one has ever become poor by giving. In 2016 Kericho by-elections Franklin has beaten hands up and so to Cheruiyot who lost Kuresoi Parliamentary seat to a little known teacher in 2017 polls, a political expert says, they are now left with psychological issues battling to revive their self-esteem in the sight of the public.
“ That is why you have been seeing them convening over-hyped meetings in locals hotels to discuss community issues yet they do not have a platform or any portfolio,” Kipkoech said
After the power left the KANU proxies, those who started politics together with William Ruto came, this group is the presently active and experienced to lead and guide the community. Isaac Ruto and Charles Keter sit on this panel but Kipng’eno Robert a political scientist argues that Isaac, the former Chepalungu MP, Cabinet Minister, former Governor and CCM party leader is a spent cartridge.
“Throughout his political career, Isaac dies and resurrects like a cat but unfortunately he at the moment lacks voice and a platform to negotiate for any leadership role,” he said
He says the Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) was hit hard on the head by Jubilee and now staggers with nobody ready to listen from it or about him despite the wooing of Eldoret politician Kiprob Bundotich.
The Nairobi-based analyst cum politician says Charles Keter has a political background, public service experience and money qualifying him to head the Kipsigis community.
“He is hardened up and loyal to the Deputy President unlike his fly-by-night Isaac but he is a certified individualist who only helps his relatives and few families from Kericho County. We know of his brother in law who he used his post to be appointed as PS” he said
According to many, Laboso could ascend to the level if not for her unresponding poor health coupled with a frosty working relationship with other leaders.
Keter and Laboso, Isaac and Keter, Isaac and Laboso, Aron and Keter, Aron and Governor Chepkwony, Chepkwony and Keter are the pairs with frosty working relationship hence threaten the unity of purpose.
Though the analyst cites that technocrats rarely make into active politics, he rests the community’s hope on the Petroleum Chief Administrative Secretary Eng. John Mosonik and IT guru Davis Chirchir who have exhibited selfless personalities at the national levels.
Mosonik allegedly valiantly played a key role in the establishment of a wide road network across Nakuru, Bomet, Kericho, Narok and other parts of the country when he was the PS for Infrastructure while Chirchir is a reputable IT expert feared by Raila Odinga for commanding computers to perform miracles.
The generosity and big heart in Engineer Mosonik places him at a better place to carry the community’s mantle.
” The former infrastructure PS Eng. Mosonik is not enclosed to a small cacoon and helps all regardless of their origin and background, so he is in the better place to led the South Rift community,” Jane Mutai from Litein said
Across the Kipsigis land, anybody allied to the Moi family is never a subject of community leadership but a traitor. This is why Nick Salat has been a perennial loser of elections and has no influence in his neighbourhood.
Ruto’s succession will likely go back to South Rift because the mushrooming leaders from South rift are not making serious wealth, lack straight academic history and feel excited of their position by just speaking behind microphones instead of building bridges and ladders to see their rise.
For as long as South Rift leaders will prioritize egoistic ambitions instead of community interests, locals will still wait for long to get the right leaders to champion for development projects.
As long as ethnicity and finances remain key factors in elections, in Nakuru, the community members will never successfully produce a top leader but will forever remain flower girls.
Despite Kalenjin being the second-largest community with its Kipsigis sub-tribe being the dominant, the county has no moneyed kingmakers ready to offer millions of finances for campaigns.
The Kipsigis community that lacks a leader to identify with, cherish the Deputy President Wiliam Ruto who is feared and loved across the country for his aggressiveness, firmness, peoples’ person, brilliant, religious and carries the interests of his people at heart, unlike the selfish gut, spread in the South Rift.