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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Biwott’s flat no to Ruto camp overtures

Former powerful cabinet minister in the Moi regime Nicholas Biwott has turned down a request to join beleaguered deputy president William Ruto’s side in the now hot Kalenjin politics.
We have also information that Sally Kosgey who served as secretary to the cabinet and head of civil service during the Moi era and who also served as Agriculture minister in the grand coalition government has also declined to work with Ruto.
Kosgey after Moi left State House won Aldai parliamentary seat on ODM ticket in 2007 but was defeated by URP candidate in 2013 elections. Ruto openly campaigned against her.
Another powerful face in Kalenjin politics that has been approached by Ruto camp is Henry Kosgey. He was ODM chairman and wanted to be Nandi senator in last elections. He lost to Ruto’s URP candidate.
The man who has been organising the secret meetings between the DP and the Kalenjin politicians is former minister and State House comptroller in the Moi epoch Franklin Bett. Of late, Bett who was in ODM in 2013 has joined the DP side courtesy of Senator Charles Keter. Like Keter, Bett is a Kipsigis. Keter is said to be the second most powerful face in Jubilee in Kalenjin after Ruto. Word has it that in case Ruto is fixed, he is grooming Keter to be in charge of the region’s politics.
It is on these grounds that in Jap top office, Keter holds a senior slot of vice-chairman. A shrewd political operative with networks across Kalenjin dominated Rift Valley areas, Keter was instrumental in having URP win a civic seat by-election in Trans Nzoia county months back. He camped in the region overseeing the campaigns.
Political analysts say due to who should be in charge of Kipsigis politics, Keter has found himself at war with Governor Isaac Ruto of Bomet and Paul Chepkwony of Kericho and MP Zakayo Cheruiyot.
Keter is said to be aware Bett and Cheruiyot cannot share same table due to their childhood rivalry which was extended to State House during the Moi regime. Bett has always claimed Cheruiyot was influential in having him haunted of State House comptroller in favour of the late Chepkwony who died in a road accident while in the plum office.
Informed sources say, Bett could have joined URP in 2013 but stuck with ODM upon discovery that Cheruiyot was a key financier and among the party founders.
Working on the above background, Keter has brought Bett to counter his political enemy. To show Keter is powerful face surrounding Ruto, recently, a section of URP leaders castigated him for being the cause of disunity and disharmony among the Kalenjin community.
Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago, and Nandi women’s representative Zipporah Kering accused Keter of influencing the shortlisting of persons in the recent parastatals jobs announced by Uhuru Kenyatta.
To them, Keter wanted to have South Rift which URP is facing rebellion to get more slots to consolidate his power base. North Rift leaders complain of being denied in the state jobs appointments.
That the rebellion in South Rift is giving Ruto allies a big headache cannot be disputed. To complicate matters worse is the decision of URP rebels to team up with Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Kanu secretary general Nick Salat. The group has also Zipporah Kittony who is a nominated senator.
It enjoys support of Kalenjin tycoons among them Joshua Kulei, Kiprono Kittony, David Langat, Philip Moi, Gideon Toroitich who is nephew to Moi, Kiprop of Buzeki diaries, the head of African Inland Church Bishop Silas Yego who was once a close Ruto ally and who presided over DP’s wedding, Kass FM’s Joshua Chepkwony just to mention but a few. 
The anti-Ruto camp has made inroads in South Rift forcing the DP to visit the area with little success. It is on these grounds President Uhuru in a move aimed at counter attacking Jap enemies was planned. Those opposed to Jap held a joint Labour Day celebrations at Kericho Green Stadium. Led by Guv Ruto and Chepkwony, they were widely cheered when they told the DP to hand URP to rebels and join Jap. Mau evictions are also said to be working in favour of Ruto’s enemies.