President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday promised to return to Eldoret to resolve emergent controversial issues in the ruling Jubilee coalition. Deputy President Ruto was not in Eldoret, his home area, with the President, but in Nairobi, chairing a cabinet subcommittee on infrastructure and attending to other official duties.
“When I meet Ruto I will inform him that you have greeted him and that we should come back with him,” said Uhuru in Eldoret town, despite advice from his political advisor Joshua Kutuny that he should avoid the town in the face of rising tensions. The President also told the police to allow Cord to hold its rally in Nairobi on Saturday.
Today the President is expected to chair a meeting of the Jubilee coalition at State House, Nairobi, following complaints from some Rift Valley MPs that URP is not getting its fair share of government jobs and business. Yesterday, a member of the coalition in the National Assembly confirmed the meeting was on.
However, there was conflicting information, with some sources indicating that that URP, the key Jubilee coalition member alongside TNA, had not been invited to the meeting.
The President spoke in Eldoret as leaflets threatening the Kikuyu community were circulated in parts of Nandi county. The leaflets were circulated in Nandi Hills and Tinderet constituencies and ordered Kikuyu families displaced during the 2008 post-election violence to leave within a week.
The leaflets accuse the Kikuyu of benefiting from IDP funds and failing to share power, in breach of promises made during the 2013 election campaigns. Tinderet police confirmed that handwritten hate leaflets were found in many parts of Nandi on the day President Uhuru visited the region to preside over a military passing out parade.
The President was expected to meet local leaders and address a rally in Eldoret. The President has invited URP and TNA MPs to the meeting this morning in a bid to resolve emerging differences between the two sides of the coalition.
The leaflets first surfaced last weekend, on the doorstep of Joyce Wanjiru, a former chairperson of an IDP group and reappeared yesterday in many parts of Nandi.
Nandi is the home area of Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, the face of rebellion against Deputy President Ruto and, by extension, President Uhuru’s administration. The leaflets ordered Joyce and her people to leave the Meteitei area within a week.
Tinderet deputy county commissioner Onyancha Onyancha said the matter was under investigation. He urged those who have received the leaftlets to treat them with caution. Nandi county CID commander Joseph Ng’ang’a said his detectives were pursuing a suspect who has fled to Mombasa.
“We have already known who distributed the leaflets. Once we apprehend him, we will be able to know the author and prefer charges against him,” the CID boss said.
The poorly-written four-page leaflets accused Wanjiru of refusing to include the names of members of a local community in the list of those who were to benefit from an IDP compensation scheme. The beneficiaries were getting Sh400,000 from the government.
The authors claimed that they had taken care of her property over the period she had been evicted. They accused her of refusing to “reciprocate” their act of kindness, despite receiving the money. The leaflets also threatened a local chief and his assistant. They vowed to ensure that the two are sacked.
Those targeted by the leaflets said they were living in fear since they found the leaflets spread across the Kamelil and Taptengelei area. However, Onyancha said he had personally visited the areas and found out that many people did not know of the existence of the leaflets.
“We are urging people to ignore them . . . this is the work of idlers who want to spread hatred among Kenyans. We should not give in to their plans,” the deputy commissioner said.
Speaking on the phone, Onyancha added he had instructed chiefs and village elders to hold meetings throughout the affected areas. Meteitei is a notorious tribal clash area. It was among the first places tribal clashes flared up in 1991. Hundreds of people lost their property and others their lives.