Why Moi’s burial will follow strict Kalenjin customs, to be buried with ‘rungu’

Moi's burial to follow Kalenjin customs
Uasin Gishu Kanu Chairman David Chepsiror with other elders speaking in Eldoret on February 6. Image: Courtesy

Kalenjin elders have taken over Moi’s burial plans in a process that will follow strict custom and rituals.

Mzee Moi will be buried with his head facing East, Kalenjin elders have said.
According to the Kalenjin customs, elders of Moi’s stature are buried with the head facing sunrise. The elders have also asked the government to allow them bury their elder at night as per the strict custom demands. This they said will awaken the sun that will continue to shine over the kalenjin land and enable them lead for years to come.

The Wednesday’s burial will follow Kalenjin’s cultural norms, which may clash with the government program. According to David Chepsiror, Uasin Gishu Kanu Chairman, Mzee Moi should be buried in the afternoon before sunset, in the event government does not allow them bury mzee at night . Chepsiror insists that he can’t be buried during the sunrise or the sunset but in the afternoon.”

Already Tugen elders have selected a graveside at Kabarak, which is on the front side overlooking the entrance to the living room.

The elders have insisted that they are the ones to dig the grave, but military thinks otherwise. The elders have told off the military saying Moi is not ‘your age mate’.
The elders also want Moi to be buried with his signature ‘Rungu” to signify the end of one leadership and to usher in another.

They say this will embolden DP Ruto’s chances of 2022, since Mzee Moi will have officially ended his reign.

The elders said they would have wished to see all Kalenjin burial rites done, but since it’s a state burial they are willing to compromise on others.

For instance, Moi who is a from the ‘Chumo’ age group’, custom demands that he would have been buried by his age mates.

The grave should also be dug on the same day of the burial, as according to customs, a grave is not supposed to stay open overnight. The elders are warning the government that leaving a grave open overnight is inviting its wrath to take more people. But the government would here none of it.

The elders are mad that government cannot understand the implication of simple customs. They have reached out to DP Ruto to persuade the government to delay the digging of the grave to the day of the burial.
In the event they are not allowed to carry the casket of their age mate, the elders have asked they be allowed to to make a ring of 24- elders by the bier as per custom demand. They however could not say what 24 means, — maybe 24 hours or 24 years of Moi’s rule.



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