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Citizen Weekly

Thursday, 16 October 2014

GOVERNOR TO DITCH URP FOR ODM?



The Council of Governors chairman Isaac Ruto has hinted that he may ditch URP for another party in the next general election. While criticizing Deputy President William Ruto's United Republican Party, the Bomet Governor said the expulsion threats will not scare him to abandon his push for an increase of allocation to the counties.

He said parties are outfits which can be changed anytime and that he does not owe his allegiance to a political party but his electorate. "It is like any other outfit which can be changed at any time. By the way I have never used a similar party to be elected into office since I came into politics and I can change it as well come 2017," Ruto said.

Ruto in the strongest hint that URP may not be his party of choice if the current impasse over pesa mashinani referendum impasse continues and the party makes good its threat to expel members who are not towing the line, the vocal Governor said he can switch to another party. "It was not a must that I use the same party to run for office and I can change and use any other party because the interest is service delivery and not those of parties," said Ruto.

"When I was elected as an MP in 1997, I was a KANU member and in 2007 I was elected on an ODM ticket and now as a governor I am on URP ticket and who knows which party I will use to run in 2017?" he said. Ruto said party politics will not stop him from pushing for an increase of allocation to the counties through a referendum claiming the threats from URP was aimed at coercing him to abandon. "We do not want to be threatened every now and then.

We are not talking about elections now but ways on how to make services to our people stronger. When that time comes we are ready to battle it out with our friends and it must not necessarily be URP and everyone knows I have never run for my position in the same party." Rutto was speaking at Siongiroi Ward in Chepalungu during the launch of a multipurpose cooperative society on Tuesday "It should be made clear to Kenyans that for a long time funds have been centralised at the national level but the services remained poor as compared to when counties came in place. This is the reason we want more funds to the counties," he said. Rutto said he will not quit the Pesa Mashinani campaigns even if fellow governors pull out.


"The leaders opposing the Pesa Mashinani drive are well-off and not concerned about the welfare of Kenyans who he said are suffering as a result of poor social amenities," he said. The Bomet governor said Sh80 billion meant for roads in the counties, water and health care is still at the national government. "We wonder why they are holding billions of shillings, meant to spur economic growth in counties. We are facing challenges in our quest to render these services because each and every other time they keep returning some functions and reducing the funding to key sectors," Ruto said.