Moi sons lose signalling end of family dynasty Story by DAVID MUGONYI and LUCAS BARASA Publication Date: 2007/12/29 The defeat of former President Mois three sons was one of the highlights of the 2007 General Election. Retired President Daniel arap Moi parades Kanu parliamentary aspirants at Kamungei Primary School. On his immediate left is Mr Peter Sigei (Chepalungu), Dr Kiplangat (Sotik), Minister Paul Sang (Bureti) and Bomets Nick Salat. Mr Moi asked Kalenjins and Rift Valley residents to vote in the Kanu candidates and President Kibaki. The three - Mr Gideon Moi (Baringo Central), Mr Jonathan Toroitich (Eldama Ravine) and Mr Raymond Moi (Rongai) - were widely seen as a reflection of their fathers desire to continue playing a role in Kenyas politics many years after leaving office. Gideon, who succeeded his father in Baringo Central in 2002, lost to former Lands Commissioner Sammy Mwaita, who was running on an ODM ticket. Indeed it was the first time the seat was leaving the Moi family after more than 50 years. Gideon, like his two brothers, contested on a Kanu ticket. Their brother Philip, a former soldier who left the army after attaining the rank of major, was said to be interested in the Rongai seat. However, he did not contest. Over at Eldama Ravine, former rally driver-turned farmer Jonathan Toroitich, once again vied for the seat formerly held by Mr Musa Sirma, an avid supporter of ODM Pentagon member William Ruto. Viewed as independent It is this closeness between Mr Sirma and Mr Ruto that is said to have made the retired President to persuade his son to vie for the seat. Mr Sirma, however, lost during the ODM nominations to Mr Moses Lessonet who went on to win the seat. Mr Toroitich has made two other attempts in the past, failing in both. In his first attempt in 1997, he is said to have lacked his fathers full support. Mr Toroitich is always viewed in the Moi family circles as independent and his father did not go full cycle to campaign for him. He lost this time round to the 35-year-old banker, Mr Lessonet, a newcomer in politics. Mr Lessonet owes his win to the ODM wave that appeared to sweep not only Rift Valley Province, but also western Kenya in general. Mr Mwaita, also a close ally of Mr Ruto, becomes the first outsider to become Baringo Central MP. The seat was held by the former President for 47 years - from 1955 to 2002 when he anointed his son Gideon to take over from him. Mr Mwaita, a greenhorn in politics too, has rode into Parliament through the ODM wave. Baringo Central had never experienced any other political leader other than the Mois. Mr Moi and his sons appeared not to have read the mood on the ground that the region was supporting ODM this time round. Voted overwhelmingly Another of Mr Mois sons, Raymond, lost in Rongai to a businessman and political activist, Mr Luka Kigen. Raymond is one of the reclusive members of the former First Family. In fact, it is the Rift Valley Province that contributed most of the Oranges 3.5 million votes during the referendum, having voted overwhelmingly against the proposed new constitution. During this period, Mr Moi and his son Gideon, joined ODM leaders to oppose the proposed constitution which was being pushed by President Kibaki and his allies. Most Kalenjins voted against the Government then because of what they deemed as unfair sacking of its professionals from the Government and the persecution of Mr Moi and his close allies. However, Mr Moi changed tact immediately after the referendum and started have a cosy relationship with his predecessor. Within a few months, Mr Moi became President Kibakis defender and Mr Rutos public enemy number one. In fact, during a rally in Nandi, Mr Moi appointed former Keiyo South MP Nicholas Biwott and Tinderets Henry Kosgey as the individuals Kalenjins should seek advice and direction from. He was later to tear into ODM, questioning how it transformed itself into a party without consulting the people. He further argued that it was his backing for the Orange team that led to the defeat of the proposed new constitution . And sooner rather than later, Mr Moi was to call a press conference at his Nairobi Kabarnet Gardens residence to throw his weight behind President Kibakis re-election. Mr Moi immediately began campaigning for President Kibaki in the vast Rift Valley Province. However, things started going bad for him when he met a hostile reception in some areas. He concentrated his campaigns mainly in Mr Rutos stronghold in Eldoret and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgeys Nandi - the two individuals he felt had betrayed him. The ODM leaders capitalised on some of the weaknesses of the former Presidents leadership and corruption to turn pressure on him. This, coupled with his fast waning influence in the region where most of the residents said he had nothing to show for his 24-year rule, made many people follow the young leadership that was emerging, led by Mr Ruto. Protest vote Analysts argue that the Kalenjins voted overwhelmingly for ODM as a protest vote against Mr Moi. Buret MP-elect Franklin Bett said Kalenjins had realised that Mr Moi was only using Kalenjins for personal benefit. The former State House Comptroller said: The Kalenjins realised that the arrangement between Moi and Kibaki had nothing to do with the community - it was all about a family protecting its wealth. Mr Joe Magut, a political analyst, argued that Mr Mois influence began waning because of the emergence of new and young political players, like Mr Ruto, who were informed and opinionated. He said: The political geometry in Rift Valley has taken a different shape and Mr Moi has been squeezed to a corner and voting out three of his sons is protest vote.