Alfred Keter: Firebrand and Harshest Critic of DP Ruto Missing In Action


Alfred Keter: Firebrand and Harshest Critic of DP Ruto Missing In Action

Alfred Keter: Firebrand and Harshest Critic of DP Ruto Missing In ActionHe was one of the harshest critics of Deputy President William Ruto.But, for the past one year, Alfred Keter, the outspoken Nandi Hills MP, has maintained a low profile.

The controversial lawmaker has kept a loud silence on the national stage, including on the current political hot topic: The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The move to step back from the limelight has some Kenyans and his peers wondering about his whereabouts.

So where is Keter?

In an exclusive interview with the Nation on Tuesday, Mr Keter said that he has taken a sabbatical from politics.

“I took time off politics to pursue my Masters of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Nairobi. I am taking my sweet time to complete my studies, away from the hectic and frenzied political arena,” he told the Nation.

Mr Keter made his political debut in 2007 when he unsuccessfully ran for the Starehe parliamentary seat.

In 2013, he decided to vie in Nandi County and was elected Nandi Hills MP.

When the Nation sought to know his stand on the current BBI debate, the old boy of Kapsabet High School said he fully supports the initiative being spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement Party leader Raila Odinga.

“I support the BBI, which l believe will fix Kenya’s perennial problems. BBI is a good initiative,” he said.

“I thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga for the BBI. It is high time Kenyans from all walks of life, young and old, male and female, come together and engage constructively to benefit from the BBI.”

He said he opted to keep off the raging BBI debate to meet the demands of his MBA programme.

“I wanted to concentrate on my studies … I am not like some politicians who enroll for a degree, miss classes and end up buying the academic papers,” he joked.

He made the remarks in the wake of a heated debate over the BBI that has split the ruling Jubilee Party into two factions: One supporting DP Ruto and the other Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga.

Before going into silent mode, Mr Keter — alongside Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny and Silas Tiren (Moiben) — led a political onslaught against Dr Ruto in Rift Valley, a region perceived to be the Deputy President’s political backyard.

In his verbal attacks, Mr Keter went as far as declaring that he would campaign against Dr Ruto in the 2022 General Election.

His growing political clout in the region, as a result of criticism of DP Ruto, has dwindled since he assumed a low profile nearly a year ago.


But, while the firebrand lawmaker may be silent, controversy continues to dog his political career.

In his first term as a legislator, in 2015, Mr Keter landed himself in trouble when a video circulated on social media of him abusing and threatening police officers manning the Gilgil weighbridge on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

YouTube video

Mr Keter and the then United Republican Party (URP) nominated MP, Sonia Birdi, were charged at a Naivasha court with creating a disturbance, intimidation and incitement.

They were each released on a Sh150,000 bond with a surety of a similar amount.

The two had been captured on video harassing weighbridge officials in Gilgil, where they had gone to demand the release of a truck belonging to the nominated MP, after it had been impounded because it lacked an exemption permit as required by the law.

In February 2018, Mr Keter dominated the headlines when he was arrested alongside businessmen Arthur Sakwa and Madat Chatur for allegedly trying to redeem fake Sh633 million Treasury Bills.

YouTube video

They denied charges of conspiring to defraud the Central Bank of Kenya and were released on a Sh2 million cash bail each.


In March 2018, the lawmaker lost his seat following a successful petition by independent candidate Bernard Kibor Kitur.

The High Court in Eldoret found that the August 8, 2017 poll that he won with 28,923 votes against Mr Kitur’s 13,872 was marred by malpractices and irregularities.

Justice George Kimondo said the election was not held in a free and fair environment.

However, in July the same year, the MP was handed a political lifeline after the Court of Appeal upheld his election victory.

Mr Keter attended Kapsabet High School where his political ambitions were birthed.

He grew up in Ollessos Village, Nandi County, in a family of six — four boys and two girls.

He attended Cheplelachbei Primary School, and then Kapsabet High School, before he joined Egerton University and later the University of Nairobi.


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