RUTO SEEKS TO RECONCILE WITH RIFT VALLEY REBELS

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William RutoDEPUTY President William Ruto has held talks with a section of politicians and businessmen believed to have been behind the simmering political rebellion in Rift Valley.

On Thursday last week, Ruto met with State House Director of Political Affairs Joshua Kuttuny, businessman David Langat and his business associate Silas Simotwo.

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It is reported that Kalenjin elders, religious leaders and some of his close staff and friends have been meeting Ruto, pleading with him to “not take a hard position and avoid as much as possible rebuking some of the leaders from the region as it was hurting Jubilee’s standings”.

“Yes, the acrimonious exchange of words between Ruto and other leaders from the region was becoming a concern to us. It was almost threatening to poison the popularity of the Jubilee Government in Rift Valley,” a friend of Ruto’s, who did not want to be named and has been part of the talks, told the Star yesterday.

Kuttuny, Langat and Simotwo confirmed attending the meeting at Ruto’s Karen office.

“Yes, we had a fruitful discussion with the Deputy President on a number of things, including the unity of the community and the need to work together as a team. The meeting was peaceful and friendly and we are now set to open a new chapter with our Deputy President,” Kuttuny said.

“The past is now gone and we are now starting to reach out to all the Rift Valley leaders, including politicians, businessmen, religious leaders and professionals, so that we work together in supporting the DP and the Jubilee Government,” Kuttuny added.

“It’s true we had a lengthy meeting with the Deputy President and we agreed to bury our differences, we are now a team and we will work together,” Langat said.

Elgeiyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen said “things were now developing in the right direction”, adding he will support Ruto in ensuring that there is unity in Rift Valley.

“Things are well and on course, the unity of the people of Rift Valley is a guaranteed unity of the Jubilee Government. I want to urge the people of Rift Valley to unite behind Ruto, he is our own and we must give him the support he wants,” he said.

“The constant attacks targeted at him by some of the leaders are not necessary, we should always stand by him as our colleagues in TNA are doing for President Uhuru Kenyatta,” he added.

The move by Ruto to meet the three only came just a week after Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi threatened to “expose those undermining” Ruto in Rift Valley.

Two weeks ago, the Star reported the mooting of a well-orchestrated campaign to discredit Ruto in Rift Valley.

The plan involved some URP MPs, businessmen and a number of TNA politicians who believe the DP “is not helping us”.

Ruto has previously accused unnamed brokers of sponsoring a rebellion against him both in government and in his Rift Valley backyard.

Kuttuny fell out with Ruto immediately after the formation of the Jubilee Government, with Ruto’s office feeling that Kuttuny was using his position and office to undermine the DP.

Businessman Langat, on the other hand, was believed to be funding a section of Kalenjin MPs, including Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, to discredit Ruto and Jubilee.

Some URP leaders also accused Ruto of “highhandedness and muzzling us”.

Yesterday, Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto admitted that he has held talks with Ruto, saying he was happy with the development, adding that he had no personal differences with Ruto.

The Chairman of the Council of Governors said Ruto should now extend the same spirit to call for a national URP meeting to iron out the pending issues.

“It is a nice move for him to have all of us work as a team, I have never had personal issues with the DP, we have only differed with him on issues and it is now wise for him to call a URP meeting for all of us to iron out issues that keep cropping up,” Rutto said.

The Bomet Governor was the first to clash with Ruto when he claimed the DP was “sending some people to abuse me”.

Governor Rutto is among Ruto’s key allies who were instrumental in forming the URP in the run-up to the 2013 general election.

The governor early this year said he was unhappy with Ruto as he has “surrounded himself with sycophants who have placed him in the fast lane to self-destruction”.

Kuresoi South MP Cheruiyot and his Nandi Hills counterpart Keter have been fierce critics of Ruto’s approach to issues.

Keter on Sunday appeared to have mellow his tone, as he said, “I will now work with other leaders from the region to unite Kenyans”.

At a rally in Eldoret on Sunday, Keter declared, “What we want now is unity. I have been talking about so many things affecting our people in this country and the solution is that we have to dialogue as leaders”.

– the-star.co.ke

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