In the Daniel arap Moi family, the fortunes of Jonathan Toroitich followed those of his mother Lena: Forgotten, cowed and, by middle-class standards, living in penury.
Despite having a billionaire father, Jonathan never lived a profligate lifestyle — and it was no wonder that his brother, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, mourned him as a “down-to-earth” person.
Family sources say that as the eldest son, Jonathan was always uncomfortable that his father appeared to favour the youngest son, Gideon, who today doubles as the spokesman on all matters pertaining to the family, and Moi’s health, against Kalenjin traditions.
While most sons and daughters of African dictators live in luxury, the same cannot be said of most of Moi’s children who don’t seem to display any opulence. His grandchildren have followed a similar path: One abandoned his girlfriend at a Kitale hotel with unpaid bills and there were previous accusations of stealing a phone.
Whether the troubled family was the reason Gideon asked Kenyans to respect their “privacy” as they mourned Jonathan was not clear. But the source of acrimony by the siblings, according to informed sources, was that the running of the multi-billion-shilling empire that Moi built during his 24-year presidency had been left in the hands of Gideon with only a few properties left to the other children.