Baringo Senator Gideon Moi is not a serious threat to DP William Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition, several politicians have said.
Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Tinderet MP Julius Melly and Aldai’s Cornelius Serem are of the view that Ruto is nationally strong so the row with Gideon will not weaken his plans.
It is expected that the Deputy President will succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta upon the end of his second and final term.
Melly said the Kalenjin community fully backs Ruto so members will ignore rivals “being used by outsiders to divide them”.
“There is no way people not known, even in the entire Rift Valley alone, will challenge the strength and following which Ruto has in many parts of the country,” he said.
He and the other politicians spoke at separate functions in Nandi county on Sunday.
The Governor said political wrangles in Rift Valley are being instigated by external forces to make Kenyans think Ruto is weak.
“As a region, we will stand with Ruto. We see no threat in those being used to undermine him. We know the DP also enjoys support countrywide,” he said at Mosoriot.
Gideon, who is Kanu chairman and son of former President Daniel Arap Moi, is yet to formally declare his bid for the top seat despite common belief and hints that his name will be on the ballot in 2022.
Wealthy Mount Kenya businessmen have, however, joined forces with influential politicians connected to the top echelons of power in a scheme to ensure he succeeds Uhuru.
As part of the high stakes plot to scuttle Ruto’s ambition, some Jubilee MPs, mostly from Rift Valley, have begun warming up to the Senator.
Meanwhile, Kesses MP Swarrup Mishra has warned that too much focus on the 2022 general election is derailing development in many parts of the country.
He said the handshake between Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga was welcome, in the bid for national unity, but that it resulted in too much politicking and caused leaders to deviate from the development agenda.
“It’s been less than a year since we finished elections yet it’s like we will have another one soon. We need to get back on track and focus on development.”
He spoke yesterday at Matharu in his constituency during the distribution of CDF cheques – he cautioned project managers against misusing the cash and failing to account for it.
Mishra, however, said the ruling Jubilee Party should stick to its programmes and succession plans for 2022.
“If you greet a girlfriend it does not mean you have divorced your wife. Jubilee remains united and needs more friends,” he said.
The MP joined Ruto’s allies in warning Raila about a push for constitutional changes.
“The handshake will not decide who will be the next President,” he said. Jubilee will not change its plan for Ruto to succeed Uhuru in 2022,” he said.
“We welcome the handshake and its importance in creating peace in the country but our next leader will not be determined by handshakes but by God and the people.”
By MATHEWS NDANYI