Ruto must go! Eldoret chants after court nullifies Alfred Keter’s win
No Keter! No Ruto!…Ruto must go! Ruto must go!…
These were the chants of Alfred Keter’s supporters on Thursday after the court nullified his election as Nandi Hills MP.
The Eldoret High court nullified the results citing poll malpractice.
Justice George Kimondo on Thursday said the elections were not held in a free and fair environment.
The over 100 supporters chanted as they marched along the Eldoret streets from the court where they went to show solidarity with the MP.
As they walked alongside Keter on the streets, the supporters continued singing as they claimed that Keter can prosper without DP William Ruto’s help.
“Yote yawezakana bila Ruto, Yote yawezekanaaa bila Ruto..” they sang as the tried to contain themselves to listen to Keter who was about to address the crowd.
(Everything is possible without Ruto)
The angry supporters at one time chanted war cries while squatting on the streets in condemnation of DP Ruto.
The nullification of Keter’s election sets the stage for a bruising political battle between Ruto and the rebel MPs.
Keter, accompanied by MPs Johana Ngeno (Emurua Dikirr), and Moiben’s Silas Tiren, said he will soon announce his next move.
The ousted legislator is seen as the leader of Jubilee rebel MPs, but he disagrees.
“I’m not leading any camp. I will work with like-minded friends to fight for truth and justice,” he said.
I knew it!
Speaking after the ruling, a defiant Keter said he already knew the outcome of the Court verdict adding that he was not shocked.
“Shetani ashindwe. (Let the devil suffer defeat) The bible was correct when it said that it is only the truth that will set us free. Mimi sijashtuka ama kushangaa kwa sababu nilitarajia hii matokeo (I am not surprised with the ruling…I expected it would go that way),” he said.
The unshaken Keter who stood a top a vehicle said he was being fought by ‘stronger forces’ for fighting corruption in Kenya.
“... najua napigwa vita kubwa sana. Mimi vita zangu zimeanza kitambo juu napigana na mambo ya ufisadi. Wanataka kuchukuwa chai ya watu wa Nandi Hills. Wamepanga njama,” he said.
(I am being fought following my stance in the fight against corruption…the people after me want to take over tea farms in Nandi Hills…they are scheming)
The judge largely relied on the evidence of the first petitioner Robert Kemei.
The latter withdrew from the case and was replaced by Rober Kitur.
“Although Kemei withdrew from the case, his evidence remained intact,” the judge said.
Kimondo said evidence had been adduced to the effect that Kemei was indeed at Labuiywo where Keter carried out one of the illegal meetings.
He further held that the petitioner took a photograph of the meeting which was part of the evidence in court.
Keter was also accused of trying to downplay the numbers of people who attended the illegal campaigns.
“Initially, Keter had said about two or three people were present but when cross-examined, he said they were about 15 people. He deliberately tried to downplay the figures,” the judge said.
He said the petitioner discharged the burden of proof as concerns claims of illegal campaigns and he gave his pleadings on the same with precision.
However, the judge rejected claims that Keter bribed witnesses saying there was scantiness of evidence to prove the same.
Last year, Keter defied Ruto’s directive and ran for Labour Committee leadership only to be ousted weeks later following a presidential directive.
‘Rivalry in the Rift’
Rebel Jubilee MPs had planned to launch a grassroots campaign in Rift Valley against what they termed ‘stage-managed succession of President Uhuru Kenyatta’.
Ruto’s allies are split into two camps. The rebels are seen to be independent-minded while another group is perceived to be of sycophants.