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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 23 March 2015


Kenya: The war of words between Deputy President William Ruto and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto intensified yesterday after the latter accused the former of using his tour of Kericho County at the weekend to sow seeds of discord among leaders in the area. The governor said it was wrong for the DP to use threats against leaders who hold divergent views and asked him to respect other people and their stand on issues. "As a leader, the Deputy President should be preaching unity but it is unfortunate he has resorted to warning Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony against associating with some of us because we have divergent opinions on issues," said Isaac. The row between the two leaders turned worse after MPs allied to the Deputy President endorsed National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso for the Bomet governor's seat. Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui said Bomet residents have been holding consultative meetings with a view of fronting a person to dethrone Isaac who, he added, had adopted a belligerent stand on other leaders. "The people of Bomet have spoken with one voice that they will be supporting Dr Laboso for the governorship. We totally support the people of Bomet on this," said Mr Tonui. See also: NHIF cover to expand from May, says DP MPs Benjamin Lagat (Ainamoi), Bernard Sang (Bureti), Jackson Rop (Kipkelion West), Erick Keter (Belgut), Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East) and Kericho Woman Representative Helen Chepkwony told Isaac to respect Ruto. Speaking at a fund-raising ceremony presided over by the DP in aid of Chepseon Girls Secondary School, the legislators said they would support the newly formed Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP), which the governor has dismissed and also back Ruto's Presidential bid come 2022. Mr Lagat said the governor had lost touch with the people at the grassroots and risked being sidelined during the next General Election. "Some of our leaders have lost touch with the electorate and they risk being sidelined because they are becoming irrelevant," he said. The Deputy President addressed meetings at Kapkatet Stadium and Chepseon Girls Secondary school, saying the Government would not be distracted from its development agenda by cheap propaganda and empty political rhetoric. Reacting to a statement by the Deputy President during a function at Kapkatet Stadium in Kericho where he warned Prof Chepkwony of a backlash from voters in 2017, Isaac said the threats were uncalled-for.
The Deputy President reportedly told Chepkwony that he is a gentleman who should "not be fooled" by someone who would lead him to lose touch with voters in the next election. Isaac, who kept off the function that was attended by many leaders from the South Rift, said political differences should not be used to sow discord between Kericho and Bomet counties. Selfish interest The governor was speaking at Ndanai Trading Centre where he distributed Sh17 million for various community projects funded by the county government, yesterday. He was accompanied by Ward Representatives Hesbond Siele (Ndanai), Stephen Morik (Longisa) and David Rotich(Chemagel). See also: NHIF cover to expand from May, says DP "We have been living in harmony with the Kericho people and selfish interests should not be used to separate us," he said. But MPs allied to the DP said they would not allow Isaac to divide South Rift residents. "Laboso is our bet because of her experience and prudent management of CDF funds. We cannot support a governor who mismanages county resources and does not want to work with other leaders," said Tonui. A source who did not want to named told The Standard MPs allied to the DP plan to keep the governor busy in his county after the expiry of his term as the Council of Governors chairman in May. "In the coming few months we are going to make things very uncomfortable for the governor in his county if he does not stop attacking the Government," said an MP privy to the scheme. However, most MCAs from Bomet accused the MPs of reducing themselves to lynch mobs.