Gideon Moi Moves To Oust William Ruto
BARINGO Senator Gideon Moi has kicked off a one-week “meet the people” tour of Rift Valley in a move to consolidate his political base ahead of 2017 elections.
In what appears a clearly calculated strategy to upstage Deputy President Ruto, especially in Rift Valley, Moi will be touring North Rift this weekend before heading to the populous South Rift.
Gideon held two rallies in Uasin Gishu yesterday, one at Ruto’s hometown of Ziwa and the other in Kesses.
At the rallies, URP MPs urged Gideon to dissolve Kanu alongside URP so they could all join the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP), but Gideon and Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat flatly refused.
Salat said they would visit all parts of the region and other areas in the country to make Kanu stronger.
“It’s not good for you to keep on hopping from one party to the other like leaders who have no stand. Let me declare that we must respect parties. We will not be folding as Kanu. You can break TNA and URP but not Kanu,” said Salat.
Allies of Deputy President William Ruto who were present said they were already headed to JAP.
But Senators Isaac Melly for Uasin Gishu and Stephen Sang of Nandi, along with Governor Jackson Mandago, said they were fully behind Ruto in URP but on the way to JAP.
“Hata wakati unachunga ngombe ukiona majani inaisha mahali iko unasonga mahali ingine” (When herding a cow you will always move it to a place where the pastures are greener,” Mandago said.
The leaders were speaking during a meeting at St Catherine Kesses Girls High School near Kesses in Uasin Gishu county and then addressed another rally at Kipsang near Ziwa in the same county.
Salat said Kanu would play a critical role in the next general elections.
URP leaders present, who included Kesses MP James Bett, drummed up support for Ruto to take over as President from Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Kanu was our party long ago but we are now in URP, on the way to JAP,” said Bett
Mandago supported the idea of Kanu retaining its identity and remaining intact, but asked that its leaders should be ready to support Ruto for President.
Senator Sang said the Rift Valley has another opportunity to stand together and back a figure from the region to take the Presidency.
“We had such an opportunity when retired President Moi was Kenyatta’s vice president. Now we have Ruto and we all have to stand with him, Sang said.
Salat said they had embarked on a plan to revive the Kanu party and other networks in the region ahead of the 2017 general elections.
Gideon held two meeting in Uasin Gishu county, home to Deputy President Ruto who plans to remain President Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate for a second term.
The son of former President Moi is considered a possible beneficiary of the emerging fallout between a section of leaders in URP and JAP, which appears to face rebellion in the Rift Valley.
Prominent URP figures in the region, including Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, have opposed the dissolution of URP to join JAP.
Two weeks ago, the Star reported the young Moi will use Kanu to challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta for the Presidency.
Yesterday sources within Kanu told the Star Moi has decided to go all-out to wrest Rift Valley from Ruto.
“Ruto (the deputy president) has lost touch with the residents of Rift Valley and Moi has decided fill the vacuum. Farmers are calling out for help and Ruto is not available. If Moi can listen and provide alternative leadership, so much the better,” the senior Kanu official who did not want to be named told the Star yesterday.
While Moi will be popularizing his presidential ambitions in North Rift region, his rival the deputy president will be heading to South Rift to assure concerned and disaffected residents that he is still in charge of Rift Valery politics.
The deputy president will be in Kapkatet in Kericho county today and then fly to Kerotet Secondary School in Uasin Gishu county.
Last week at a Nairobi press conference by professionals from Rift Valley expressed their dismay with the state of affairs and one of them said the office of the deputy president has become a “no-go-zone and a club of some clique of few Rift Valley leaders”.