Former President Daniel arap Moi turns 94 today at a time when, 16 years after leaving office, he has found himself back at the heart of political discussions, and negotiations ahead of the 2022 presidential elections.
Mzee Moi had kept a quiet political life after leaving office, with very minimal public engagements at his Kabarak home in Nakuru County.
But this year, Mzee Moi — who ruled Kenya as its second president for 24 years, four months and eight days — has been back in the headlines, meeting one delegation after another.
The meetings have one thing in common: Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, who has expressed interest at the presidency in 2022, would usher in the visitors, and pictures will be quickly circulated online, with either a very short statement from Mzee Moi’s office, or none, with Kenyans left to speculate on the contents of the engagements.
The latest such engagement was a week ago when Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, who with a large delegation from the Coast, were treated to a meeting with Mzee Moi, after which they attended a funds drive in Baringo a day later.
Two months earlier, Mr Joho had played host to Senator Moi in Mombasa where the two announced a unity deal ahead of 2022 elections.
Mzee Moi also met President Uhuru Kenyatta on July 28, again with Senator Moi in tow to welcome him, just over eight months after he had visited the family in their Nairobi home after the Jubilee Party leader won a second term.
But while he argues that his father should not be dragged into the politics, and his own 2022 ambitions, the Kabarak delegations — with undeniable political undertones — has betrayed his course.
Those defending Senator Moi argue that he, and indeed the former president, have the right to choose whom to invite to their home, and whom to associate with.
They have also questioned why Mr Ruto, particularly, has recently agitated to visit the former Head of State, only after Mr Odinga went to see him.
His critics, however, dismiss the senator as a political novice “only campaigning in his father’s compound”.