Rutto party in deal with NASA, Raila to attend rally at Bomet
Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto yesterday vowed his Chama Cha Mashinani party will back NASA, promising a fierce political showdown against Jubilee in the August 8 polls.
The governor in the latest ferocious salvo hit out at President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto, emphatically stating the duo don’t deserve a second term.
The abrasive county boss in an interview on vernacular Kalenjin radio station, Taach FM, accused Uhuru and Ruto of undermining and abusing him and other elected leaders from the populous South Rift opposed to their leadership style.
“Jubilee has said they do not want us or even hear anything about us, so we have been in talks with NASA which seems to pursue similar interests as that of our CCM party. Jubilee has sustained abuses and insults on other leaders hence making it hard to approach,” said Rutto in his latest criticism of the President and his deputy.
Rutto is particularly unhappy with the remarks attributed to the DP, when he told residents of Bomet county to vote the governor out because he is anti-development.
A fortnight ago, when he toured the county to issue a cheque to Sotik New KCC, the DP called on the residents to vote Rutto out. He said the governor has been a stumbling block in the implementation of key projects in the region.
“I am now the DP because of you people…you supported me. I will never allow anyone to become a barrier towards our unity and implementation of crucial developments, just because of selfish interests,” he said.
Rutto said he has struck a pre-election deal with NASA principals – Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula and Musalia Mudavadi – that will guide their political marriage into and after the general election.
The former ally of the DP-turned-foe said the negotiated political deal will be made public this week once it gets the blessings of the powerful Kipsigis council of elders.
The elders had given the governor two weeks to approach either Jubilee or NASA for a favourable deal ahead of the election. He appears to have settled on the opposition’s coalition.
“NASA and CCM share similar ideologies. I have talked with NASA principals as I was sent by the elders. I will be reporting to them this week,” said the Bomet county boss.
“We have bargained for what CCM will get in the NASA government, and we only need to agree and sign a memorandum of understanding.”
Rutto said in the deal, the opposition outfit will not be fielding candidates for governor, senator and woman representative in Nakuru and Narok counties, but instead will support CCM aspirants.
“We have agreed with NASA. It will be in exchange for our support for the top seat,” he said.
Rutto said it is time the Kalenjin community forgave ODM leader Raila Odinga. He, however, did not disclose why Raila needs to be forgiven.
“It is time we forgive Raila. What did he do that cannot be forgiven?” he said.
Rutto took issue with the DP, saying he has shortchanged the South Rift region in development projects. The governor cited the construction of a referral hospital, which he said is being built in the DP’s North Rift and not South Rift.
He said he wants to be part of NASA so that development projects are equally distributed across the country. “I have trusted people for too long. South Rift has no referral hospital. People travel 200km to seek medical attention. I want to join NASA and be part of the decision-making,” he said.
Edwin Kimeto, an elder, yesterday told the Star a huge public rally will be held in Bomet Stadium on Saturday, where Rutto is expected to announce the pact.
Kimeto said Raila will be the main guest at the rally, which will bring together the Myoot council of elders, Kipsigis clans and associations, among other leaders from the community.
“We shall make a key declaration as the community…the meeting is a culmination of the timeframe we issued to the CCM party leader to engage the two main coalitions. So expect some good news,” he stated.
National Assembly majority leader and DP’s right-hand man Aden Duale said the meeting will be inconsequential, and will not ruin Jubilee’s chances in August.
He said the governor is digging his political grave. “There are senior politicians from the Rift Valley who have taken the same route Rutto is taking now, but I want to assure him he will meet the same fate,” he said.