MP Chepkonga

Ainabkoi MP Chepkonga is laughing off the recent crowning of opposition leader Raila Odinga as a Kalenjin elder.

The National Assembly legal affairs committee chairman said Raila’s crowning was not done according to Kalenjin culture.

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”When I heard the former Prime Minister was being installed as an elder, I called Kalenjin council of elders official John Seii who told me he was not aware of such a ceremony,” Chepkonga said.

”Installation of any leader as Kalenjin elder is a sacred affair. It is done after meticulous preparations by selected elders. We were surprised to watch Raila being dressed with a baboon skin instead of the tradition colobus monkey skin. It was derogatory.”

MP Chepkonga also added that the crowning had no political significance because it was not the community’s endorsement of his 2017 presidential bid.

Kalenjin Community

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When pictures and reports of Raila’s crowning spread, there was a debate about the actual significance of the ceremony. Or whether it was just another political move because it was done in the home of Deputy President William Ruto.

The traditional regalia came into question with some saying it was more demeaning rather than a lack of knowledge by those who oversaw the occasion.

It also emerged that in Chesongoch, Marakwet East, Raila was dressed in a belt that is usually won by women after birth.

The main argument against the whole crowning ceremony was that one could not be crowned elder more than once. The ODM chieftain had already been made a Kalenjin elder some years back when he was named Arap Mibei.

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Campaign season is around the corner and all political parties would be looking to head to the North Rift to hold rallies and to sway voters their way.