Moi’s Instruments of Power Surrendered Back to Nandi Elders After 65 Years

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Years after the former late President Daniel Moi received symbolic instruments of power from the famous Talai Elders, the same instruments have been returned back to Nandi.

The instruments, which were given to Moi 65 years ago, were on Thursday taken back to Nandi by the Tugen Council of Elders, who traveled to Sochoi in Nandi county, performed a secret ceremony before handing over the instruments to Nandi community elders.

The instruments given to former President Moi in 1955 at Kabiyet, were safely delivered back to the Nandi elders in a briefcase by their Tugen counterparts who had traveled all the way from Sacho (Moi’s ancestral home in Baringo)

Announcement that Tugen elders handed over instruments of power given to President Moi, on September 17.
Tugen elders after handing over the instruments of power to their Nandi counterparts at Sochoi in Nandi county. Photo/Courtesy

Despite this, none of the Moi family members was present to accompany the instruments to Sochoi, a sacred place to the Kalenjin community where key cultural and traditional events usually take place.

The highly regarded instruments delivered by the elders included a crown (samburto) a baton (Kirungut) Kutweet (sword) (nogirwet) and a traditional stick (Siarit).

The four symbolic instruments were mainly used by the legendary Nandi chief medicine man Orkoiyot-Kipnyolei arap Turgat during his tenure as the community’s leader.

Rungut is the popular Rungu ya Nyayo that Moi carried everywhere during his presidency. the same one that was handed over to Gideon Moi by the family during Moi’s funeral.

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Among the key Nandi elders who were present to receive the instruments included; Mzee Benjamin Kitur, the Nandi Kaburwo chairman, who led the Kalenjin Council of Elders known as (Myot) from Rift Valley to the area. Also present was the council’s chairman, Rev Kibet Sambu.

After the death of Mzee Moi earlier this year, the elders had demanded the rungu and another regalia back. The handing over of instruments comes at a time the Deputy President William Ruto is expected to be officially installed as the community’s kingpin by the elders.

Among the Kalenjin community, the ceremony is so significant, especially when the elders are preparing to hand over the mantle to another young leader.

“This is a highly significant and historical event in the entire Kalenjin land and it’s exclusively done by elders,” stated Elder Kutur after receiving the instruments.

DP William Ruto and Talai elders in Kipsirwo village, Nandi county, on Friday, June 5, 2020.
DP William Ruto and Talai elders when he visited them at Kipsisiywo village, Nandi county, on Friday, June 5, 2020. Photo/Courtesy

The elders are now expected to retreat and plan for a major event, where the instruments will be displayed to the community as a confirmation it had been returned back to the elders. It will then be blessed before being passed over to the next anointed king.

According to reports, it is expected that the instruments will be passed on to Ruto, who was recently crowned by Talai Elders as the de facto leader of the community in June this year.

In the Kalenjin community, Nandi elders, and specifically the Talai elders have been given the mandate to bless and bestow powers on the community’s kingpins and leaders.

Ruto’s official coronation ceremony is expected to take place later in November this year and this will highly intensify his rivalry with Moi’s son Gideon, the Baringo senator, over the control of Rift Valley.

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