Rift widening:Brace yourself for war, Ruto tells DP Ruto
Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has warned the United Republican Party (URP) of a bruising court battle in an effort to restore the jobs of nine nominated members of County Assembly who were sacked by the Party.
The URP National Executive Committee on Friday announced that it had taken a decision to expel the nine MCAs who it accused of failing to adhere to the party’s constitution.
But speaking at the Kericho Green Stadium on Friday during Labour Day celebrations, Mr Ruto demanded the immediate reinstatement of the expelled MCAs, warning that the war ‘had just begun’ as he accused some URP leaders of portraying increasingly dictatorial tendencies.
Mr Ruto challenged URP to expel him from the party, saying he was aware that he was the focal target of removal by some members of the Deputy President William Ruto-led party.
“I am asking them to come and face me directly. This idea of targeting small people like MCAs in an effort to hurt me is old-fashioned. If they want to get me, I am asking them to try to attempt to remove me. In the meantime, the party should prepare for battle,” he said.
The governor said the nominated MCAs had been doing their constitutional duties of representing the interests of women, youth and persons with disabilities in the County Assembly and wondered why some senior URP leaders were trying to use them to settle political scores.
He termed the NEC as strangers saying he did not recognize them because URP elections had only been done to the county level.
“Who are those people purporting to be chairman and secretary general of URP? Who appointed them and who elected the NEC? Those people are strangers because as far as I am concerned, members did not elected them. We will deal with them,” he said.
Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony called on DP Ruto to lead mediation talks to heal the rift in the Rift Valley and unite Kalenjin leaders.
But speaking separately, Kericho Senator Charles Keter said he stood by the NEC decision.
Mr Keter said the party had a right to expel nominated MCAs who were no longer representing the interests of the party and said the party will not be compelled to reinstate them.
“Those who don’t toe the line set by the party will have to go. Governors Ruto and Chepkwony have their own agenda which is going against that of URP,” he said.
The senator dismissed allegations that the URP NEC was improperly constituted and challenged Governor Ruto to prove that this was not the case.
“The NEC members were elected and were ratified by the National Delegates Conference to hold office for the next five years. Anything else being said to the contrary is false,” he added.
The Council of Governors Chairman was however adamant in his view that he has not been fighting the Deputy President as has been claimed by his allies.
He said his only crime was his staunch support for devolution.