Inside Gideon’s quiet plan to revamp dormant Kanu

Thursday, April 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Kanu chairman Gideon Moi Photo/PD/Bernard Malonza.

Eric Wainaina @EWainaina

Initially seen as a reluctant player in the succession politics, Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi seems to be pulling his own weight by not only playing a visible role  in the emerging One Kenya Alliance but also rolling out a silent strategy to revamp the independence party.

Besides moving aggressively across the country to market the Building Bridges Initiative, Gideon has hosted 51 political meetings involving leaders from counties across the country.

The Kanu chairman is part of the “One Kenya Alliance” that brings together Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) that has rattled Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

 Yesterday, Kanu secretary general Nick Salat told People Daily that the party and its leadership was involved in public and behind-the-scene activities to not only revamp the independence party, but also boost the image of the senator with eyes on the presidency or one of the top seats that will be created through BBI.

 “Kanu as a party has always had a national outlook, only that its structures have been dormant and what we are doing now is activating them which calls for vigorous activities.

After 2002, the party has not taken a stab at the presidency but now we are in it and even if we will not get it, we will be well represented in the top leadership, especially with the passage of BBI,” Salat told People Daily.

 He added: “The party and even our chairman has realised that if we continue being dormant, we will soon end up being sent to the political oblivion.”

 BBI has proposed the expansion of the Executive to create the position of Prime Minister and two deputies, positions which key politicians are eyeing.

The senator who is waging war with Deputy President William Ruto for control of Rift Valley politics  participated in BBI  campaign rallies in Isiolo, Garissa, West Pokot, Laikipia, Embu, Migori, Kajiado, Nyeri, Bomet and Samburu counties.

Gideon was also actively involved  in the Matungu, Kabuchai and Machakos by-elections, a move that was singled out for mention by his One Kenya Alliance partners whose parties won the respective seats.  

“We appreciate in a very special way the role of KANU and specifically the Party Chairman Gideon Moi for his unrelenting support in all the by-elections despite the fact that Kanu did not field candidates,” read a joint statement released by the Alliance. 

The senator has also been making forays in different parts of country including Coast, the Maa counties and Mount Kenya notably Kiambu, Embu, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi where he has only attended church services and other public functions but also assembled a team to revamp the party. 

Sources in the party disclosed to People Dailythat the activities that are being carried out by Gideon are part of the party’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2021 in partnership between Kanu and international partners.

The strategy will see activation of party branches, recruitment of members and fielding of candidates for various seats in the next election. The party has already unleashed its youth and women league leaders to populise the party at the grassroots.

 For example, in Mt Kenya region where Njung’e Mukirae, an old Kanu official is the overall chairman, the party has tapped former aspirants under the ‘Kanu Fresh’ campaign as part of its officials as it seeks to increase in presence and visibility in the region.

Social and community issues

For instance in Kiambu, Gideon has tapped former county coordinator of the defunct The National Alliance (TNA) and 2017 Woman Rep candidate Gladys Chania as part of its new officials, in Kirinyaga, one of the active branches has John Gathungu who rose from being a KANU youth winger to the branch chair while in Laikipia, former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga is driving the party agenda.

“Woman and Youth Congresses and other local influential people have been tasked with popularising the party on the ground, including participating in social and community issues to the benefit of the people.

Recruitment which has been going on is also a critical component,” Chania, the head of the Kiambu Women Congress told People Daily.

The younger Moi has also been wooing leaders from different parts of the country to his corner as he seeks to boost his image nationally.

Tiaty MP William Kamket, a close ally of Moi, while speaking at a rally in West Pokot disclosed that the Kanu boss was working with Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Wetangula, and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho to advance his ambitions.

But DP allies view Gideon’s activities as tribal and inconsequential, with Aldai MP Cornelius Serem dismissing the younger Moi as someone who has no capacity to win any seat, including a re-election.

 “Gideon is an  amateur while William is a professional. You cannot compare an amateur and a professional, those to play in different leagues.

The only seat Gideon won at some point was MP for Baringo Central, even the Senate seat that he is occupying  was given to him as a gift to Mzee (his father) because the people did not want to offend him, not that he is good, he cannot win anything,” Serem told People Daily.

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