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Talai Elders respond to sorcery, witchcraft claims

The Talai Council of Elders has denied claims that Deputy President William Ruto visited them for a traditional cleansing ceremony as reported by several news publications.

The elders, led by retired Anglican cleric Rev James Baasi said that the DP had visited them for an abdication and accession ceremony where he was installed as the new Kalenjin kingpin following the death of retired President Daniel Moi.

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Rev Baasi further stated that the ceremony was purely religious “blended with strong biblical symbols and prayers”.

“According to Kalenjin tradition, one would naturally abdicate the enthronement upon their demise. After Moi’s death, the royal regalia now needed a suitable successor to be handed over to through a legitimate ceremony,” he said. “Friday’s ceremony was however an abridged version blended with strong Christian/Biblical symbols and prayers.”

The retired Anglican cleric further rubbished claims that the clan comprises of sorcerers and witchcrafts as claimed on social media.

“We know that the function started very early in the morning according to our culture and this locked many people from attending the ceremony but it is very sad to see people speculate and brand us as sorcerers,” said Rev Baasi.

Another elder maintained that the elders were known for foreseeing and blessing Kalenjin leaders, declining the sorcery and witchcraft claims.

“May the lord forgive you! we’re religious people known for our role in foreseeing & blessing Kalenjin leaders since time immemorial and neither do we practice witchcraft, sorcery nor any cunningly devised fables, whatsoever,” he said.

Upon installation, Ruto was adorned with a sacred Kalenjin leadership regalia known as Sambut, Kuutwet, Sharit, Rungut, Kumiat and a Kalenjin bible, the elders said.

Sambut and Kuutwet are the sacred accession treasures passed to successive Kalenjin community Kingpins while Sambut symbolises warmth and accommodative leadership, Kuutwet and Royal Rungu represent authority, while Sharit is a symbol for shepherding.

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The kingship is given to one person at a time.

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