GEDION MOI: The apple of the father’s eye that never was

Since time immemorial, there is that one kid in every African family, who right from birth, turns out to be their father’s favourite.

That one child who the man of the house naturally gets fond of than the rest; and nothing feels good like being this kid.

By default, this child usually gets lots of favours; some to the disadvantage of other siblings.

Even in instances where he/she misbehaves, Mzee still has a soft spot for them.

It is this kid who the father expects to immortalize his legacy long after he is no more.

Well, the African dad cannot be blamed for this reality for the simple reason that, every human being lives to see the day one of his own inherits his legacy.

But perhaps, nowhere else does the favourite kid tradition thrive more than in royal families.

Whether you are talking about the centuries-old Buganda monarchy or the modern day father-to-son royalty that characterizes many African countries’ presidency, the story is singular.

Kenya has not been any exception.

From the Kenyattas to the Mois, the concept of political power baton being passed on from father to son is way too familiar.

Interestingly, whereas it has been a rather smooth ride for the Kenyattas with the scion of Jomo, Uhuru overcoming numerous​ obstacles to become Kenya’s fourth president, the same can’t be said of the Mois.

Definitely, Mzee Moi does not quite qualify as the perfect family man. It’s in the public domain that for the better part of his heyday as president, Moi’s family life was controversial. So far, he is the only president in Kenya who never had a First Lady.

But either way, Moi is a father of three sons; Phillip, Raymond and Gedion.

And it is his last born son Gedion who turned out to be the apple of the father’s eye.

From the onset, Gedion got it all. Silver spoon childhood and the best of Western education were part and parcel of his upbringing.

And when Gedion was old enough, or so Moi imagined, the former president introduced him to the art and science of politics, first as Baringo MP.

Moi then went ahead to make sure Gedion inherited and owned the 5 decade old independence party KANU.

Unfortunately, even after all those efforts, any objective political analyst can confidently argue, Gedion is now turning out to be a total disappointment for Mzee Moi.

To begin with, Gedion appears to have inherited zero charisma from his father, the man who was once referred to as the professor of Kenyan politics.

Unlike senior Moi, Gedion is boring and empty. Just pick a random clip of his speeches and then make your own conclusion.

A friend of mine tells me Gedion has the charisma of a tortoise!

Secondly, whether it is due to his comfortable childhood or simply because the man is fond of Western lifestyle, Gedion carries himself in a rather too classy manner for Kenyan politics so that he appears more arrogant and proud than decent.

Otherwise, you don’t appeal to Wanjiku so much when you opt to fly around each and every time you are attending a function, even one that is just a few kilometers from your house.

As a matter of fact, Gedion is on record boasting in public not long ago that the chopper he uses was donated by his mzee as a bicycle to facilitate his movements around.

Thirdly, Gedion’s leadership capabilities leave a lot to be desired. For a man who grew up seeing his father bestrode Kenya like the proverbial colossus, managing simple stuff like party affairs should not be the rocket science running KANU is turning out to be.

Finally, for more than a decade that Gedion has been politicking, he has failed to outgrow local and ethnic politics, a fete his nonagenarian dad achieved rather easily. He remains more of a Baringo than a national leader.

To cap it all, if he is not careful enough, Gedion’s political obituary is set to be written even faster, thanks to his father’s other non-biological son, William Ruto who has proven to be a better learner.

Since he went calling at Moi’s court in 1992, the skinny, penniless, hungry and very young son of a commoner – that was William Ruto – has built up an inerasable record and reputation as the enfant terrible of Moi’s imagination.

With William around and several other Kalenjin political newcomers like Isaac Rutto, Kipchumba Murkomen and Jackson Mandago making progress rather quickly, Gedion might not end up being the apple Moi thought he would be.