THE hand of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga lies behind the rift between Governor Isaac Rutto and Deputy President William Ruto, URP leaders believe.

Supporters of the Deputy President believe that Raila wants the Bomet governor to be his running mate in the 2017 elections and to thereby topple William Ruto as the leader of the Kalenjin.

URP insiders believe that Raila, who lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta in the March elections, want to compete again in the next presidential elections.

The party has concluded that Raila blames the Deputy President for his defeat in the last elections as the Rift Valley voted overwhelmingly for Jubilee.

“We all know that Rutto is angling to be Raila’s running mate in 2017. We are aware of the scheme and we are ready for it,” said Ainamoi MP Benjamin Langat, a close ally of William Ruto.

Langat added that Rutto’s demand for immediate transfer of funds to the counties was meant to destabilise Jubilee. He said Raila helped get Rutto elected as the chairman of the Council of Governors. The council brings together the president, his deputy and the governors from the 47 counties, most of whom belong to Cord.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, both from ODM and Cord, had indicated their interest to chair the Council of governors and qwere considered the frontrunners due to the Cord majority in the council.

“We know it was Raila who prevailed upon the two to step down for Rutto because on his own he wouldn’t have won,” said a former MP close to Jubilee.

The former MP claimed that Raila did not want to team up again with former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka in 2017 and would prefer a running mate from Rift Valley.

However Cord denied that Raila wants Rutto as his running mate in 2017.

“It is a ploy by Jubilee to divert the Kenyan public from the real issues facing the country,” said Francis Nyenze, Minority Leader in the National Assembly .

On Wednesday night in Karen, the URP top leadership met to discuss the conduct of Rutto and agreed to consider moving a motion to impeaching him as the Bomet governor.

The URP leaders and MPs are angry over Rutto’s repeated criticisms that the Jubilee government is undermining devolution and his comments that URP might team up with Raila in 2017.

But yesterday, members of Bomet County Assembly vowed to reject any impeachment motion against Rutto. They accused URP MPs of engaging on a smear campaign against their governor.

They vowed to stand by Rutto in his push for full implementation of devolution under the new constitution.

Bomet majority leader Julius Korir said the assembly does not see any grounds to impeach the governor.

He warned MPs against dragging the Bomet assembly into the saga saying they were not party to political intrigues.

“The constitution is very clear on impeachment and those planning should stick to it before thinking of impeaching Governor Rutto. For us we have not found the grounds to call for his impeachment,” said Korir.

Yesterday Rutto maintained that his sole interest is to ensure devolution is fully implemented.  He called on other governors and senators to stand firm against anti-devolution agents.

He was addressing a forum on devolved government for governors and senators organised by the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution at Leisure Lodge resort in Kwale.

“The journey of devolution is long and you know there are believers and non-believers. If we don’t watch out, they can steal it,” he said.

Rutto said the country is on the home stretch of the new constitution where aspirations can be actualised or killed.

– the-star.co.ke

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