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Regalia used to crown Ruto sparks ownership row

Tugen leaders have denied an allegation that a traditional regalia they used to crown the Deputy President William Ruto as an elder was taken from an elderly man without his consent

The elders were responding to a media report that Mr Kimitei Kiplagat, 93, from Kapkoi village claimed ownership of the monkey skin attire, saying it was used without his permission.

His friend allegedly borrowed the attire to participate in a cultural dance in December last year but never returned it.

The elders led by Mr Elijah Kimanyim said that the attire they used to crown Mr Ruto was not borrowed from Mr Kiplagat.

“We are the ones who installed the Deputy President as a Tugen elder during his visit to Eldama Ravine a week ago. We are surprised to learn from a section of media that the gown, commonly referred by the Kalenjin as sambut, was taken from Mr Kiplagat. We do not know him and never borrowed a gown from him,” said Mr Kimanyim.

Mr Kimanyin said the Deputy President’s rivals were out to taint his name because of his growing popularity in the Rift Valley region

But the Eldama Ravine Cultural Group chairman Jona Tallam told the Nation that he is in possession of Mr Kiplagat’s regalia which they borrowed a year ago.

“As a cultural group, we borrowed the shawl from the old man a year ago to use it in cultural ceremonies. We still have it and is under lock and key.

We are wondering who misled him that we gave out his sambut. Here it is,” said Mr Tallam as he showed the regalia he borrowed from Mr Kiplagat.

Mr Ruto was installed by Tugen elders last week in Eldama Ravine when he was on a tour to launch Eldama Ravine technical Training Institute and other development projects in the region.

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