Raila’s recent recognition as a Kalenjin elder was a sham according to Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga.
The legislator has dismissed the installation of the ODM leader saying it had no political significance.
Chepkonga said the installation which took place on Tuesday last week at Moiben – Deputy President William Ruto’s backyard – was not the community’s endorsement of Raila’s 2017 presidential bid.
He said the ritual was not done according to Kalenjin culture because Raila was adorned with a Baboon skin instead of the custom Colobus Monkey skin.
“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,” he said as quoted by The Star.
Chepkonga was speaking during a fundraiser in Keiyo South over the weekend. He said Kalenjin council of elders popularly known as kootab myoot were not involved in the exercise.
“When I heard the former PM 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,” he added.
The installation reportedly sparked a debate in North Rift following reports that elders who crowned Raila had no cultural authority to carry out the ritual.
It also emerged that during the ceremony, Raila was dressed in a belt that is usually won by women after birth.
The Star reports that questions have been raised on whether the traditional regalia were used to demean Raila, or it was just ignorance by those who crowned him.
It has also been argued that it is not allowed for someone to be installed as an elder twice.
Raila had already been installed as a Kalenjin elder some years back where he was named Arap Mibei – the man from the water.