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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Jap headache for Ruto in Rift Valley


Deputy President William Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi’s political rivalry over the control of Rift Valley votes ahead of the 2017 polls has resurfaced again.
Gideon who is also the Kanu national chairman is said to be fighting to wrestle the region from Ruto’s grip and consequently block the DP’s bid to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta.
Sources say Gideon is now taking advantage of Ruto’s declaration that he will be Uhuru’s running mate in 2017 to reactivate his political structures and run for the presidency in 2017.  
According to those well versed with the URP/TNA 2013 power sharing deal, Uhuru and Ruto were more concerned with 2013 win and the 2017 has sent them back to the drawing board. The idea was to win that election and then work on the future hence the 50-50 arrangement. It is said they were not sure they would win.
Sources allied to URP now say that Uhuru ambushed Ruto when he said he was going to defend his seat in 2017 leaving Ruto with no option but to accept to play the role of second fiddle. 
Aware of the happenings in Jubilee and moreso in RV where Ruto is accused of killing URP by dissolving it to Jap,  the plan is to fill the vacuum Ruto has created and keen observes must have noticed Gideon has been involved in a meet-the-people tour of the region to consolidate his political base.
Gideon has now rolled up his sleeves and last week, he took the war to Ruto’s doorstep with a rally in Uasin Gishu ounty. The two rallies were held a few kilometres from Ruto’s home with one at Ziwa and the other one at Kesses.
During the rallies, Gideon told his supporters that he was not going to fold Kanu but told URP supporters that they were free to disband URP. Analysts say Gideon is considered a possible beneficiary of the emerging fall out in URP.
Those who have been closely monitoring political events as they unfold in Rift Valley now say that the larger Moi family is uncomfortable with the idea of Ruto succeeding Uhuru and has thrown spanners into the works to neutralise the DP’s popularity in his Rift Valley backyard. Ruto’s fear is that there have been speculations over an alleged agreement between retired Moi and the Kenyatta family on the presidency.
To counter Gideon, sources say Ruto is also now planning a week-long meet-the-people tour in the region to counter Gideon. The political supremacy wars have now sucked in Gideon and Ruto’s closest allies in the region.
The impeachment of Baringo county assembly speaker William Kamket who has now been given back the job by the court is blamed on Ruto. Sources say Kamket is a close Gideon ally and Ruto used his influence at the county assembly to have him impeached.
Gideon is however said to be working on a strategy to have Kamket take on Tiaty MP Asman Kamama in 2017. Kamama is a URP MP and confidante of Ruto. The DP has again directed the URP members of the Baringo county assembly to ensure Kamket is impeached again and removed as speaker, and the position taken by a URP loyalist.
Gideon is also working on another plot to have West Pokot senator John Lonyangapuo of Kanu to cut Ruto down to size in the region. Ruto is said to have been behind a plot to arrest another Gideon loyalist Sigor MP Philip Rotino. He is alleged to have incited the Pokot community against the KDF operation.
Gideon is now said to have taken control of the Pokot county. In November eight Pokot leaders snubbed a peace meeting attended by Ruto in protest over the ongoing military operation in Kapedo, an action that complicates Ruto’s grip on the Rift Valley region. Already two URP MPs from the region Kacheliba MP Mark Lomunokol and his Pokot South counterpart David Pkosing have shifted their loyalty from Ruto to Gideon.
Bomet governor Isaac Ruto is also said to have been sucked into the Gideon-Ruto wars. Guv Ruto is a known Ruto critic and is said to be working closely with Gideon. He is  likely to run on a Kanu ticket in 2017. Ruto on the other hand is said to be secretly plotting to have the governor impeached before 2017. He is said to be threatening nominated MCAs from Bomet that their nomination will be revoked if they do not abandon the governor.
He has claimed that there was a plot by URP to sack 10 nominated members of the Bomet county assembly and replace them with others who would be arm-twisted to support an impeachment motion against him.