Talai Elders declare DP Ruto Kalenjin kingpin after dawn ceremony


Talai Elders declare DP Ruto Kalenjin kingpin after dawn ceremony
File image of Deputy President William Ruto during the Marsabit, Lake Turkana Cultural Festival 12th Edition, Loiyangalani, Marsabit county on December 6, 2019. PHOTO| COURTESY

The Talai Council of Elders has refuted reports claiming that Deputy President William Ruto visited them early Friday morning for a traditional cleansing as well as seeking special powers to stop the current purge in the Jubilee Party leadership.

The elders led by the chairman, retired Anglican cleric Rev. James Baasi now say that Ruto visited Kapsisiywa village in Nandi County to attend an abdication and accession ceremony where he was installed as the Kalenjin kingpin following the death of former President Daniel Arap Moi.

According to Rev. Baasi, the traditional ceremony lasted for one hour and was blended with strong Christian/biblical symbols and prayers.

“According to Kalenjin tradition, one would naturally abdicate the enthronement upon their demise. After Moi’s death, the royal regalia now needed a suitable successor to be handed over to through a legitimate ceremony. Friday’s ceremony was however an abridged version blended with strong Christian/biblical symbols and prayers,” said Rev. Baasi.

He maintained that the clan is not associated with sorcery and witchcraft as claimed on social media.

“We know that the function started very early in the morning according to our culture and this locked many people from attending the ceremony but it is very sad to see people speculate and brand us as sorcerers,” said Baasi.

The elders said Dr. Ruto was adorned with the sacred Kalenjin leadership regalia known as Sambut, Kuutwet, Sharit and Rungut adding that he was also given Kumiat (honey) and a Kalenjin bible.

Sambut and Kuutwet are the sacred accession treasures that are passed to successive Kalenjin community Kingpins.

They further explained that Sambut symbolises warmth and accommodative/inclusive leadership while Kuutwet and Royal Rungu represent authority, while Sharit is a symbol for shepherding.

According to the Talai elders, the kingship is now with the deputy president and that it is given to one person at a time, meaning that Dr. Ruto is now the sole leader bearing Kalenjin kingship mantle.

Leaders present at the ceremony included Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, his Uasin Gishu counterpart Jackson Mandago, Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, MPs Julius Melly (Tinderet), Cornelius Serem (Aldai) and Wilson Kogo (Chesumei) as well as area MCA Pius Sing’oei.

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Story By Daniel Korir
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