Ruto returns to Kericho as Jubilee uncork champagne

Ruto in KerichoDeputy President William Ruto returns to Kericho on Saturday to celebrate Jubilee’s victory in last week’s senatorial by-election.

Mr Ruto is scheduled to lead other Jubilee leaders in a thanksgiving ceremony at the Kericho Teachers College.

The DP’s return comes as rivals Kanu, who had also planned a thanksgiving rally at Kericho’s Moi Gardens on the same day, shelved their plans with party officials saying the function had been postponed to a later date.

The celebrations follows Tuesday’s swearing-in of the new Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot who trounced Kanu’s Paul Sang during the March 7 mini poll.
Mr Cheruiyot garnered 109,358 votes against Mr Sang’s 56,241 votes.

The two parties waged ferocious campaigns in the run-up to the election, forcing Mr Ruto to make five trips to a region where enjoys massive support when Kanu threatened to turn the tables on him.

Kanu has since rejected the results, accusing the electoral commission of rigging the poll in favour of Jubilee.

DP Ruto is likely to be accompanied by senior Jubilee leaders including National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso, National Assembly majority leader Aden Duale, Senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki and his deputy Kipchumba Murkomen.

The four, alongside the seven Kericho Members of Parliament, had been tasked with delivering the Kericho seat for the nascent Jubilee Alliance Party, making Mr Cheruiyot the first senator to be elected under the merged party.

The only other elected leader under the JAP banner is Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu.

Before attending the thanksgiving ceremony, Mr Ruto will commission the Premier-Kabianga University-Tablootin road in Belgut Constituency in a move calculated to demonstrate Jubilee’s delivery of its pre-election pledges to Kericho County.

Even though Jubilee won after a hard-fought battle, the deputy president had come in for criticism from Kericho residents who accused him and the Jubilee government of abandoning the South Rift in terms of development projects.

At one point, Mr Ruto was forced to publicly apologise to his angry supporters and make a promise that more development projects were lined up for Kericho and the South Rift generally.

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