Baringo senator Gideon Moi is currently in Malawi for the historic swearing in of the president Lazarus Chakwera. The senator is representing president Kenyatta who is busy with internal management of COVID 19 pandemic at home.
The choice is Senator Moi is strategic first because representing the president always in national and international events naturally for deputy president but since they have fallen out, the senator can be construed as the defacto second in command. Secondly choice of the senator bypassing even the senior high-profile officials in Foreign affairs ministry is clear indication of who the president prefer as the succession politics takes shape.
This is clearly a slap in the face of the deputy president but elevation of Baringo senator who is calm and less boisterous compared with his nemesis who are combative and noisy seen in public barazas and events.
The scion of the second president Daniel Moi who was also the godfather of the incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta, the looming succession politics seems to be his to lose as the odds are stuck in his favor. Seen a neutral and certainly maintain the status quo, he will have many backers among the current crop of leaders in government who are afraid of losing they lucrative positions once the change of guard takes effect.
Senator Moi is less divisive individual and rarely finds himself on the corrupt dealings a stark contrast to his rivals who are occasionally mentioned and has therefore established himself as unblemished candidate without baggage of corruption that is rampant in government agencies. His calm demeanor and composed persona can endear him to Kenyans quite easily.
There is sense of Déjà vu if the president endorses the senator and bypass many of his allies who are more powerful and enjoy huge support to the senator and resembles the similar situation when former president Moi and Senator’s father endorsed president uhuru, who was considered a political novice to represent KANU in elections close to 2 decades ago amid open revolt and mass exodus from the party.
The senator has largely kept a silent outlook in public and can hardly be spotted in noisy rallies, a trait that makes his detractors underestimate his resolve but his dalliance to president Kenyatta coupled with his clean record in public service could work on his favor.
If president Kenyatta repays former president kindness in uplifting his rather unknown star less than two decades ago, then senator Moi by all standards will be the preferred candidate in upcoming elections. the prelection pact between KANU, Moi’s party and Jubilee, Uhuru’s party and the recent deployment of the senator to lead the governments delegating in Malawi inauguration are but latest hints where the head of state is betting on.
With president Kenyatta’s central region showing open revolt to the president and the rift valley region being largely deputy president’s bastion, it will be interesting to see how the two will navigate through the unprecedented territories even as the COVID 19 pandemic preventing the rallies and public forums which the two could have used to pitch and make the case.