Ministers’ Baringo trips stir up 2022 political murmurs
It might have largely gone unnoticed but for keen observers, a tour of Baringo County by three Cabinet Secretaries, separately in less than two weeks, could provide a significant bearing on the evolving political landscape.
First to arrive was Agriculture’s Peter Munya and his assistant Linah Jebii Kilimo on June 26 followed by Sicily Kariuki of Water three days later to inspect ongoing works at Chemususu Dam in Eldama Ravine sub-county.
Munya, who was also accompanied by Principal Secretary Harry Kimtai, launched a livestock vaccination exercise in Loruk (Tiaty) and later at Emining in Mogotio sub-county.
In both instances, Munya delivered “greetings” from Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
Significantly, it was also the week that the senator represented President Uhuru Kenyatta during the inauguration of new Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera in Lilongwe.
It is noteworthy that Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party (MCP) share the same colours with Kanu in red, black and green as we as the cockerel.
“As we celebrate this victory, I wish to express our gratitude to him on behalf of the Moi family for having stood with us when we lost Mzee in early February and having attended the funeral at Kabarak,” Senator said in a message posted on his Facebook page.
“We shall forever remember that very humbling gesture of goodwill at our lowest,” he added.
Thereafter, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru capped off a fascinating week when he launched 4G Internet connectivity courtesy of Google Loon and Telkom Kenya at Radat in Mogotio sub-county.
Mucheru excited residents when he linked them with President Kenyatta via video interaction and conversation that lasted for about five minutes.
The visit also took him to Eldama Ravine where he had a session at the Rift Valley Innovation Centre (RVIC).
During the call, Uhuru urged residents of Baringo to push the sales of their honey and other products through online platforms describing it as ‘probably the best in the world.”
Kibet Cheruiyot alias Amkich Karanja, a youth who spoke to Uhuru on behalf of the residents assured him that they are going to put the 4G internet into good use. “It is a life opportunity to speak to the President,” he said later on.
Clear of politics
The Loon service will initially cover a region spanning about 50,000 sq kms, including Elgeyo-Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kisumu, Kisii, Bomet, Kericho and Narok.counties.
“I want to see you making online sales of honey in Baringo. It is probably the best in the world,” the President said.
Although Mucheru steered clear of politics, opting instead to focus on the day’s agenda; the ongoing political realignments in the country and the brutal purge meted out on Deputy President William Ruto’s allies may give a clue.
“Senator Moi who is the chairman of ICT Committee in the Senate has been on my case to make sure that we have the connectivity, so I am very happy that today I can actually report to him that we have full connectivity here in Baringo,” said Mucheru.
“I know wherever he is now he is extremely happy he has seen that actually we have been able to fulfill some of the promises we made; that we actually connect the whole country, 100 per cent with 4G,” he stated.
Gideon is trying to carve out a niche for himself in the vote-rich Rift Valley and at the national arena where he recently guided Kanu into signing a post-election coalition agreement with Jubilee.
While it was previously thought that Uhuru would hand over the baton to Ruto in 2022, recent political tremors have seen the latter pushed to the periphery and out of succession plans.
According to Kiptum Binott, a political analyst and a former civic leader, Uhuru is sending early signals that Moi is his preferred successor.
He said this was the first time residents have witnessed three ministers visit the region within a week.
“As a keen political observer and commentator on socio-economic events in the country, I am seeing Uhuru sending signals that he prefers Senator Moi to take over from him,” he said, adding: “The people of Baringo should be prepared to receive more visitors and goodies ahead of the 2022 presidential election,” he said.