Deputy President William Ruto visited former President Daniel Moi at his Kabarak home, but was unable to see him. Sources said Ruto flew unannounced to Kabarak airstrip within the former president’s farm in Nakuru County at around 11.50am.
The Deputy President is reported to have gone to Kabarak without his security detail, but in the company of Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut and lawyer Stephen Kipkenda. Given that there were no prior arrangements, there was nobody at hand to receive the DP. And since there was no car either, the Deputy President and his team had to walk to Moi’s compound. . The GSU’s manning the airstrip refused to grant the DP a ride for they were on duty and not allowed to leave station without other officers taking over.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga have in the past separately visited Moi, but their visits were elaborately planned in consultation with the former president’s office. Yesterday, Ruto was unable to meet Moi in what was termed a clash of engagements. His arrival coincided with the time the ex-President was undergoing a routine physical exercise with his doctors.
The entourage was welcomed for lunch, but left when it became apparent they would not see their host. The guests were told they could make an appointment to see the former president another day. “Unfortunately, this coincided with the time Mzee Moi was undergoing routine physical exercise with his doctors. Mzee Moi agreed to meet the visitors at convenient time another day in the very near future,” a statement from the office of the former President read in part.
Private visit Keter and Chepkut are said to have visited Kabarak, Nakuru County without an appointment and seen the former President on April 26.
But the Deputy President’s arrival in similar fashion is believed not to have gone down well with the former president’s handlers. Yesterday, Ruto’s spokesman David Mugonyi declined to comment on the trip, saying it was a private visit by his boss. “This was a private visit, and when the Deputy President makes public visits we inform or invite the media,” Mugonyi told The Standard.
Moi retired from office 16 years ago, when he handed over power to Mwai Kibaki. He has kept a low profile and occasionally meets delegations of leaders at his Kabarak home. President Uhuru’s mother Mama Ngina Kenyatta has also paid the former President a visit in the recent past. On April 12, Raila, accompanied by Mvita MP Abdulswamwad Shariff Nassir and Senator George Khaniri of Vihiga, visited Moi at his home in Kabarak.
The visit, coming after last month’s political truce between Raila and Uhuru, and in the background of Moi’s son Gideon expressing interest in the 2022 presidential race, has left many Kenyans wondering. On arrival at the Kabarak airstrip, Raila and his delegation were received by Tiaty MP William Kamket and Moiben MP Silas Tiren. Recent hospitalisation At the former President’s home, Raila was welcomed by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Kanu Secretary General and former MP Nick Salaat, who ushered him to a meeting with the former President. “The visit followed recent hospitalisation of the former President in Israel. Mr Odinga was visiting to wish the former President well. The two leaders in the process discussed the state of the Kenyan nation during the visit that lasted slightly over one hour. The former President was strong and in high spirit,” Raila’s spokesman Denis Onyango said in a statement then.
Raila is understood to have revisited the divisions that rocked the country following the two presidential elections last year – the one in August that he successfully petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify, and the fresh vote on October 26, which the Opposition leader boycotted. The ODM leader is reported to have recounted to the former President the bitter feud that followed even after the Supreme Court upheld Uhuru’s victory in the repeat vote, how it divided the country, and the risk of sections of the country that supported him becoming ungovernable. Raila told Moi that he agreed to hold talks with Uhuru for the sake of uniting the country and steering it out of a crisis. The former President is understood to have stressed to Raila that the unity of the country was dear to him.
Moi, 93, expressed his satisfaction with the two opponents’ decision to bury their hatchets and heal national rifts. He is said to have recalled with nostalgia the Nyayo philosophy of peace, love and unity that guided his presidency.
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