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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Site of new university pits DP Ruto against Guv Ruto

The ongoing controversy over Bomet University site has been a subject of division among political leaders in the county. The division of leaders were a clearly witnessed when four members of parliament allegedly took part in organising demonstration to demand for the site opposed by the county government.
The demonstration that took place recently lasted for over six hours and was attended by Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui and his Bomet East counterpart Benard Bett with a handful of ferried supporters from four constituencies.
The MPs together with their supporters were demanding that the university remains in Bomet town while those aligned to Bomet governor Isaac Ruto were opposed to the proposal.
Business in Bomet town was paralysed during the demonstration where a group opposed to the site clash with the governor supporters who wanted to get access to Bomet Green Stadium where the MPs were expected to address them.
The MPs together with the supporters were denied entry to the stadium by anti-riot police who sealed off the entrance of the stadium forcing the group to go to the bus stage.
Before the rival groups clashed, the governor had opted to go round trying to cool down the groups to remain peaceful but the group led by members of parliament were rowdy, an issue that forced security team to disperse them but they kept regrouping on and off.
The rival group took over where they went and remove a sign post that was erected in the proposed site that they were demanding the university should be.
The huge sign post reading: “Bomet University Site” was removed by those supporting the county government’s 65 acres Sigor site.
Ruto together with two members of county assembly from Silibwet and Chebunyo wards addressed members of the press and condemned the planned demonstration.
“What is wrong with elected leaders to participate in demonstration? We want leaders to be part of development but not to organise demonstration,” Ruto stated.
The governor disclosed that it was unfortunate that four members of parliament organised demonstration.
“We know the four members of parliament who transported people from their  constituencies so as to participate in the demonstration,” Ruto disclosed.
Ruto defended Konoin MP Sammy Koech and Bomet county rep Cecilia Ngetich who were not part of the demonstration.
Bomet senator Wilfred Lesan was not clear if he was party to the demonstration that paralysed business the whole day in Bomet town.
The anti-governor camp was allegedly funded by William Ruto and Senator Charles Keter. For a long time, those opposed to the governor have been regular visitors to the DP’s Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu. During the meetings, money allegedly exchanged hands with the governor and  MP Zachayo Cheruyoit’s name featuring prominently. Together with Kericho governor Professor Paul Chepkwony, they are accused for plotting to alienate the Kipsigis community from the entire Kalenjin community.
The governor accused external forces who were said to be behind the demonstration that was aimed at paralysing county operations.
He vowed to continue fighting such forces and urged leaders to be part of development agenda rather than wasting time in demos.
After police dispersed the demonstrators they vowed to continue pushing but according to county government and ministry of Education they have settled for Sigor and 11 acres is available for town campus.