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Citizen Weekly

Friday, 6 March 2015

RUTO'S 2017 GAME PLAN LEAKS



CORD leader Raila Odinga’s key allies in the Rift Valley are now warming up to Deputy President William Ruto as he moves to replace rebel URP leaders ahead of the 2017 elections.
Some of key figures in North and South Rift who vigorously campaigned for Cord ahead of the March 4, 2013 general election are switching their allegiance to the newly-formed Jubilee Alliance Party.
In a push to keep his firm grip on Rift Valley politics, Ruto has established a fresh lineup of leaders he will be fronting in 2017 to replace the current governors and MPs who have been rebelling against him.
Among those targeted to be dropped are Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto, his Nandi counterpart Cleophas Lagat and Paul Chepkwony (Kericho).
Vocal Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter is also among the members of National Assembly who is likely to be locked out of JAP.
Prominent persons who stood by Raila and Cord in the run-up to the 2013 poll despite the URP-Jubilee wave that swept the Rift Valley include former ODM chairman and Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey, former Roads minister Frankline Bett and former East African Community minister Moses Sirma.
Others are former Agriculture minister Sally Kosgei, former Higher Education minister Margaret Kamar and former Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat.
The politicians have maintained a low profile since losing in the elections.
Sources say former Konoin MP Julius Kones is set to replace governor Rutto in Bomet. Kones lost to Rutto during URP’s nomination in 2013. Kones has been the chairman of National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation since December 2013.
Rutto has sustained sharp criticism against the Deputy President and Jubilee government.
Kosgey, who has been under pressure to join JAP, is earmarked to replace Lagat as the Nandi governor.
Bett has been identified to replace Chepkwony in Kericho.
Chepkwony is not only accused of learning and taking instructions from governor Rutto, but also pushing for a national referendum contrary to the Jubilee position.
Last weekend Bett defected from ODM to JAP.
Though he did not specify the seat he will be vying for, Bett said he wants one of the top seats in Kericho county on a JAP ticket.
He made it clear to current Bureti MP Leonard Sang that is not eyeing the parliamentary seat.
In Baringo county, Ruto has lined up former Eldama Ravine MP Moses Sirma.
Sirma was Raila’s key ally in 2013 but has recently warmed up to the Deputy President's camp.
Last weekend he participated in high-profile fundraisers where he represented Ruto in Baringo county.
Yesterday in a telephone interview, Sirma said though he is yet to identify the seat he will be vying for, he is now in JAP.
“I am now working with all the other leaders from Rift Valley including our Deputy President. You will see in the coming days what we are up to but for now know that were are a strong team. I will let you know the seat I will be vying for,