Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi’s morning walk in Mulwanda village, Khwisero sub-county, on Sunday caught many by surprise.
The Baringo senator’s 7km walk to Sabatia bus stage brought the sleepy village to life as local residents mingled with the politician.
Gideon had spent the night in the village after addressing a crowd at Kakamega bus stage. He was in the area for a funds drive attended by Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Siaya Senator James Orengo and Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala.
Gideon was hosted by Philip Arunga, his childhood friend and younger brother of former Khwisero MP Julius Arunga.
When residents learnt that Gideon was in the village, they came out in large numbers to meet and even shake his hand.
The senator mingled freely with residents as they chanted Nyayo-era songs and waved the one-finger Kanu salute.
Gideon met his longtime friend, Butere ACK Bishop Tim Wambunya.
The Baringo senator also visited an elderly blind woman in the village and offered to ensure she gets specialised treatment.
Leonidah Khatenje, 82, from Eshisecheri village in Mulwanda location, told The Standard yesterday that Gideon arrived at her homestead at around 8am.
“I told him I want my sight restored so that I can see my grandchildren,” said Khatenje.
Khatenje said her problem started in 2010 when she woke up one day and found her legs swollen. After treatment at Khwisero dispensary, the legs healed but she lost her vision.
“I want to thank Mr Moi for rescuing me. He told me that this week, I will be taken to Nairobi for specialised treatment. May God bless the work of his hands and also his 2022 presidential ambitions,” said Khatenje.
Her children Abel Indakala and Ruth Mideche thanked Gideon for offering to help their mother.
Julius (Arunga), who is the Kakamega County ANC chairman, said people thronged their homestead and demanded that the senator addresses them.
“I was surprised by the kind of reception he received. Our people were very friendly to him and he didn’t shy away from mingling with them. He is still the same down-to-earth man I met in the ninth Parliament when I was area MP,” said the former Khwisero MP.
Maurice Oyondi, 65, said Gideon arrived at his homestead at around 9am accompanied by his neighbour Philip (Arunga).
Oyondi said he was preparing firewood when the senator arrived.
“I have only been seeing him on TV and newspapers but yesterday (Sunday) he greeted me. He is a very down-to-earth man. Come 2022, if he will be on the ballot, I will vote for him,” said Oyondi.
Ruth Mideche, who prepared food for Gideon, said the senator mingled with everyone in the village irrespective of their social status.
Ms Mideche said his aides let him chat with residents.
“The people asked him to ensure Nyayo milk is brought back if he becomes President,” she said.
Gideon said after consultations with Khatenje’s relatives, he discovered the elderly woman was not born blind, but had lost her eyesight due to an illness.
“She has never been tested to ascertain she is blind… I was moved by her plight. I want her to be taken to hospital,” said the senator.
He added: “I have given them some money to go for an eye check-up at Sabatia Eye Hospital and they report back to me. Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has agreed to release a county ambulance to bring her to Nairobi after the check-up to get specialised treatment. I will pay all her bills.”
The Senate ICT committee chairman told the residents that when he told his father that he would spend the night in Khwisero after Saturday’s harambee, he told him he had matured politically.
“When Mzee Moi heard that I would sleep here, he told me that I have matured in politics since Khwisero people never voted for him. You have been friendly to me and I will come back to bring development projects to the area,” said Gideon.
He urged youth and women to form self-help groups and also register companies so that he can help them start businesses -aimed at improving their standards of living.
The senator further stated that if they form the next government after the 2022 polls, he would ensure he engages all the youth in the country, and would help them do business in a bid to grow the economy.
“Pray for me and your leaders for the journey we have just started. I will be back to launch more projects in this area and I will work for you,” he said.