With a lot of curiosity, it has been eye-catching to watch and read about Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi making political tours across the country in the past one year. He has been to Ukambani, Western as well as North Eastern regions and his native Rift Valley.
Noticeably, while in Luo Nyanza the political bastion of former premier Raila Odinga, local politicians went overdrive to push for a pre-2022 alliance between him and Raila while in Western, Ukambani and Coast he was accompanied by respective honchos of the area.
Those forays and the company he keeps have given fillip to interpretations that Gideon seeks to run for Presidency. What is more, in the eyes of one and all, Gideon has come to be identified as the closest and most political son of retired President Moi.
Gideon is not an ordinary mortal. He is the son of a revered towering political figure, who served the country for 12 years as Vice-President, 24 years as President, the then ruling Kanu party and national chairman for 28 years.
He ranks among the country’s top-notch financial thoroughbreds who define Kenya’s aristocracy characterised by high-end learning institutions such as St Mary’s and Kenton. He is serving his second term as senator, having previously served as the Baringo Central MP.
Gideon has, on-and-off, captured news headlines ushering in friends and political suitors intent on checking on his aged father at the latter’s Kabarak home. That calls for the question: Is it not time for the real Gideon to step up to the plate?
His countrywide tours could be a good beginning. But he still has much to do. Raised in a privileged family, what needs to be known is: Who then — politically speaking — is Gideon Moi, apart from being the son of a former president? Obviously, there are a few things the senator may need to inform his potential voters, given that at the moment very little is known about him.
Occasionally, groups of people herded at press conferences and political rallies have pitched for the lawmaker’s presidential candidacy in 2022. However, given that Gideon does not grant interviews to explain himself out, those ladies and gentlemen have not helped the public to understand what he really stands for.
For example, among other subjects, what is Gideon’s economic prescription for Kenya? What is his stand on corruption? How would he address tribalism? Does he ever feel the rampant poverty in the country? How would he approach healthcare, education, energy, agriculture and tourism?
What would his taxation regime look like? Moving forward, it might be prudent for Gideon to get out of the retired President’s wings and market himself as his own man. May be, Gideon may want to take a cue from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
When Uhuru made a stab at the presidency in 2002, he lost to retired President Kibaki. Uhuru flopped was because the electorate perceived him merely as the son of Kenya’s first President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, on one hand and a ‘project’ of the then retiring Daniel arap Moi on the other.
Consequently, Uhuru picked up the pieces, went back to the drawing board and re-branded himself as his own man. Ten years later, Uhuru won the presidency.
Senator Gideon needs to rebrand himself first outside the umbrella of Daniel arap Moi. That will enable Kenyans to thereafter judge him on his own merits, before deciding whether to vote for him or not, whenever that time comes. – The author is a Revise Editor at the People Daily newspaper. [email protected]