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Grandees at the memorial, a hustler in Mombasa

While the Jubilee Party establishment paid homage to the late President Daniel arap Moi, Deputy President William Ruto was campaigning on the Coast

If funerals are Kenyan politicians' favourite platform for campaigning, the memorial service to mark the anniversary of former President Daniel arap Moi's death in Nakuru was the next best thing (AC Vol 61 No 6, The fight for Jubilee).

With his estranged Deputy President William Ruto conspicuously absent – it is, as yet, unclear whether or not he was invited – President Uhuru Kenyatta, followed by erstwhile opposition leader Raila Odinga and other political leaders took the pulpit to urge Kenyans and politicians to maintain peace in pointed references to Ruto. 

'The arrogance we are seeing in today's leadership raises many questions into the future of our country,' said Kenyatta in a scarcely veiled sideswipe at his deputy. Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka took up the same message. They accuse Ruto of threatening violence by seeking to undermine the Building Bridges Initiative, which Kenyatta and Odinga hope to put successfully to a referendum later this year (AC Vol 62 No 1, Handshake to face poll test).

Meanwhile, the Deputy President was busy campaigning at the Coast, one of the regions loyal to Raila Odinga which Ruto believes he can swing ahead of the 2022 elections (AC Vol 61 No 20, Raila's path to power).

Despite attempts by Baringo Senator and Kenya African National Union party leader Gideon Moi, son of the former President, to take Ruto's position as the political kingpin in the Rift Valley, the Deputy President is confident that he retains overwhelming support of the Kalenjin community, once the fiefdom of President Moi.

While Ruto pressed the flesh with Coast regional leaders, the contrast with political grandees posturing probably does no harm to the image Ruto and his allies are seeking to cultivate of a self-made hustler taking on Kenya's political dynasties.



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