RIFT VALLEY MPs PLAN ANTI-ISAAC RUTTO RALLY IN KERICHO
MPs and Senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto are planning to hold major rally at Kapkatet stadium in Rift Valley to denounce Bomet county governor Isaac Rutto.
The rally which will be attended by all Kalenjin leaders is aimed at cutting Rutto to side for his ongoing association with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM. The rally will culminate in a declaration.
Past “Kapkatet declarations” have been binding to the Kipsigis sub-tribe of the Kalenjin who occupy the southern part of Rift Valley and which have used the grounds to make major political pronouncements.
In 1963, the community gave founding President Jomo Kenyatta its blessings to lead the country and in 2007, ahead of the elections held later that year, the community declared its preference for Raila who was not only inducted into the community but was also given the name ‘Arap Mibei. The declaration saw Raila’s ODM receive overwhelming support.
Early this year, just before the March 4 elections, yet another declaration was made in which the community vowed to support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA and Ruto’s URP which formed the pre-election coalition, Jubilee Alliance.
Majority of the URP MPs and senators have in recent weeks been accusing Rutto of working with Raila to topple the deputy president from his perch as the leader of the Kalenjin. The MPs and other leaders allied to Ruto have accused the former Chepalungu MP of fighting the Deputy President and attempting to destabilize the Jubilee government.
But Rutto has since denied the allegations saying he is only interested in ensuring that devolution succeeds and said those accusing him of fighting Ruto were “misinformed.”
Yesterday, several MPs said plans for the Kapkatet rally were at an advanced stage and the date of the meeting will be announced. They said they had given the mantle of leadership to Ruto.
Last week Rutto told the Star that he is “a Kipsigis and Ruto is a Nandi” and that the issue to replace the Deputy President as a Kalenjin leader has not been discussed.
Rutto provoked the MPs ire when he said that URP was considering working with Cord ahead of the 2017 elections. In defending his statement after widespread criticism, Rutto said “those calling themselves digital must know there is no place for sycophancy in this day and age”.
On Saturday, 15 URP MPs told Rutto to “stop day dreaming” that he will ever be Raila’s running mate during the 2017 general election. The MPs from both North and South Rift claimed Rutto was being funded by Raila and Cord to unleash ‘destructive politics’ on President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy ahead of the next general election.
The legislators asked Rutto to decide whether to remain as governor and choose to serve Jubilee government or to resign and defect to Raila’s ODM and allow the people of Bomet County to choose a leader of their choice who is loyal to the government.
Speaking during a home coming party for Sigowet/Soin Justice Kemei, the MPs who included senator Charles Keter and two women representative Helen Chepkwony(Kericho county)and Cicilia Ngetich(Bomet County) said the Jubilee government was just three months old in the office and should be given time to prove its worth in the next one year.
Nandi hills MP Alfred Keter claimed that Rutto was Raila’s “gun-for-hire’ whose intention was to unleash political terror on Jubilee government strongholds in entire North and South Rift.
“That is a political exercise in futility since Isaac has no future with Cord come the next general election especially in a region where the former premier still owes the Kipsigis community an apology for evicting them out of Mau forest. He did this despite the community having voted for him during 2007 general election,” Alfred Keter said.
Ainamoi MP Benjamin Langat flamed that Rutto had been promised to be the running mate for Raila in 2017. “We are aware that Rutto has been meeting with Raila and his emissaries in city hotels on the promise that he will be the running mate for Raila. He is daydreaming as we will not back Raila again,” Langat said.
Nine other URP MPs from Rift Valley yesterday claimed that Rutto had fallen into a trap set by Raila and would live to regret the political miscalculation.
They said Rutto, who is the chairman of the council of governors had allegedly been tasked to present the Jubilee administration as ‘anti-reform and opposed to devolution.”
The MPs, Cornelius Serem (Aldai) Julius Meli (Tinderet) Elisha Busienei (Turbo),Wesley Korir (Cherangany), James Bett (Kesses), Alfred Keter (Nandi-Hills) Bowen Kangogo (Marakwet East) Oscah Sudi (Kapseret) and Ayub Savula (Lugari) were speaking at Ol’Lessos Technical Institute during the a funds drive for Nandi-Hills constituency university bursary fund where Mombasa businessman David Langat was the guest of honor.
The MPs said the so-called council of governors forums were being used as a platform to undermine the government and said the Jubilee elected governors had no business in attending them since they had only a single agenda.
Yesterday, governors meeting in Mombasa came to the defense of Rutto and said he was speaking for them when he accused the government of attempting to derail the devolution process.
Led by Tana River Governor Hussein Dado, the governors said they could no longer stand by as their chairman was being threatened and intimidated.
“If anyone attacks Rutto it means he or she is attacking governors of this country and we are warning those people who are doing so to keep off our chair,” he said.
He said that views of Rutto on the issue of devolution are not his own but were the views of the 47 governors represented in the council.
He expressed concern that the senators were not using their powers enshrined in the constitution to protect and ensure that devolution was implemented successfully.
“There is no any other group that can stand up and send home the president apart from senate. But you are not suing these powers to stand up and fight for what is right yet Kenyans depend on you,” he said.