By Adung’osi Ikol
If it’s true that Moi really snubbed Ruto, then this is my analysis:
Moi wasn’t called “Professor of Politics” for nothing. This guy got that reputation out of his shrewd ability to control outcomes to favor him politically. Under Kenyatta, his meek and humble demeanor led GEMA not to consider him a substantial threat in the Jomo Kenyatta succession battle. They underestimated him. Njonjo saw him as an uneducated fool whom he would easily deal with, so they squabbled among themselves until they were caught by surprise by Jomo’s death and Moi’s subsequent ascent to power.
But still, they thought he was just a temporary problem that would go away. Little did did they know that as they squabbled and continued to underestimate him, he was calculating. The first thing he did was to ban tribal movements in the country in support of a unified nation. This was simply a move to disband GEMA and the Kiambu Mafia.
Moi knew clearly that the greatest threat to him was the Gema movement and so he tried to appease their elite, even coining the term “Nyayo” to show them that he would continue in the footsteps of Jomo. In other words, what Jomo had given them, they could continue getting from Moi. However they continued to undermine him politically and personally. It wasn’t helped by the fact that albeit being a good politician, Moi was a poor economist and the economy suffered, affecting everyone but more so the Kikuyu elite who were the business class.
The turning point for Moi was the 1982 coup orchestrated from the most unlikely source, a group of mostly Luo Air Force men. Some argue that Moi actually knew of the coup but let it happen so that he could use it to deal with his enemies once and for all. I don’t subscribe to that school of thought because I don’t believe any wise strategist would ever allow a situation to proceed whose outcome they could not guarantee. In my view, Moi was simply lucky but took his luck with both hands, using this as a pretext to finally subdue the Mount Kenya Faction.
Once his position was sealed, he used a combination of propaganda, terror, selective development, cronyism, ethnic divide and rule and shrewd politics to stay afloat. And he withered every storm until the fall of the Soviet Union precipitated an ideological shift towards multiparty politics culminating in the repeal of section 2A and subsequently ending the one party state. But still, even in Multiplayer politics, Moi still proved a formidable politician. Of course aided by state machinery.
2002 became another defining moment for Moi. He knew that the most important thing was to safeguard his wealth and family position after the end of his tenure. Some ask why he simply didn’t rig Uhuru in, then. I believe it was because he had already negotiated with both sides and knew that whatever the outcome, it would work for him. If Uhuru won, it would be ideal. But if Kibaki, his long time Vice President won it would still work for him. Not only would his interests be protected, but he would also protect his legacy by being known to have handed over power peacefully, while also securing everlasting friendship with the Kenyatta’s who he must have known would definitely rise to prominence at some point, especially after grooming their heir apparent.
Where am I going with all this? Ruto is a very strong contender to be president and it would be wise for any gambling man to keep him close. Moi wouldn’t dare snub Ruto unless he already knew the outcome. He is a gambling man. If he didn’t know what game was at play, he wouldn’t dare refuse the inroads of a man who could be the next president. Especially knowing the wrath of the son of Sugoi. Some say that this might just be a stupid move by Gideon to spite Ruto, his archenemy, but I differ. Gideon is a true son of the father who never does anything without his father’s consent…
However, the last and very plausible explanation could be that this was just an accident of scheduling, perhaps orchestrated by the eagerness of one party. But really? A physiotherapy session can surely be put off for a visit from the Deputy President and possibly the next president…IDK🤷🏾♂️