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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 17 May 2015

Why DP Ruto enemies pray for Nandi by-election

A by-election is looming in Nandi Hills constituency following recommendation by the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko that MP Alfred Keter be removed from office for misconduct and contravention of the constitution.
Following the announcement, political temperatures have risen in Nandi Hills with anti-William Ruto forces now plotting on how to gang up and defeat the Jubilee candidate should Keter lose his parliamentary seat.
Leadership and Integrity Act gives effect to Chapter Six of the Constitution, Article 75, which stipulates that state officers such as legislators can be removed from office for demeaning the office they occupy; having conflict between personal interests and public or official duties; or compromising any public or official interest in favour of a personal interest.
Article 75 (2), states: “A person who contravenes clause (1) or Articles 76, 77 or 78, shall be subject to the applicable disciplinary procedure for the relevant office; and may, in accordance with the disciplinary procedure, be removed from office.”
The Keter case has now taken a political angle with some saying that it has been pushed by some top Jubilee operatives to fix Ruto in case of a by-election knowing well of the current rebellion in Rift Valley.
Analysts say Ruto must be warned that any by-election in Rift Valley could backfire on him just as the Kajiado Central by-election was a big blow to Jap. TNA power brokers are said to be out to use the by- election to test Jap popularity in Kalenjin land the way they did with the recent Kabete by-election where the party won.
On the other side, to Ruto foes, they want to use the by-election to teach him a lesson. Already, word has it; the DP is behind Keter’s troubles. If Keter is kicked out, they are likely to secretly throw their weight behind anti-DP candidate to humiliate him and to expose him as having failed to deliver the seat to Jubilee.
On the ongoing rebellion, one scenario that is likely to be witnessed is that of all anti-Ruto teaming up to field a candidate against URP’s candidate. The anti-Ruto forces led by Baringo senator Gideon Moi, Kanu secretary general Nick Salatt and Bomet governor Isaac Ruto are likely to give the DP a run for his money. Others are MP Zachayo Cheruiyot, Henry Kosgey, David Langat and Joshua Chepkwony.
In the event that Keter is kicked out, the Gideon team is likely to pull surprises by taking advantage of the current rebellion to sell Kanu policies. The DP is aware that a combination of Gideon and Ruto cannot be ignored and fielding a strong candidate is likely to finish him in the region politically.
But when did the rain start beating Keter and Ruto? Sources well versed with Nandi politics say that immediately after the Jubilee government took over, Keter was the first URP MP to fire the first salvo at Ruto accusing him of being behind the frustrations meted out on the Kalenjins under the Jubilee administration.
Ruto and his allies have never been at peace with Alfred Keter who since the formation of Jubilee has been attacking the DP saying the DP and a clique of URP loyalists are busy enjoying the fruits that others fought for. At one time, he shocked his supporters when he boldly told Ruto to come out of the “ivory tower” and face the reality at the grassroots.
Speaking during Madaraka Day celebrations at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Kapsabet, the MP said: “Ruto is on top of the tree with a few sycophants who don’t want to hear anything from the people because the fruits and honey they are enjoying are too sweet. We can decide to fell this tree.”
It is such remarks that have not been going down well with the DP and his allies who for some time have been scheming on how to kick him out of the party and now Tobiko has given them the rare opportunity through a by-election. But is URP guaranteed of winning the seat?
Ruto allies believe that Keter is enjoying the backing of top Kalenjin tycoons including Nandi governor Cleophas Lagat. Lagat had fallen out with the DP after he threw his weight behind the Pesa Mashinani referendum calls. Lagat has decided to maintain a neutral ground in the hot Kalenjin politics.
Lagat, Keter and Guv Ruto have been working closely in a move aimed at fueling rebellion in Nandi county. At one time the DP allies attempted to use MCAs to impeach Lagat but the deal backfired after the Nandi county assembly said it would not impeach Governor Lagat for his support for a referendum through the Pesa Mashinani initiative. Lagat had been accused of defying the DP by endorsing the Pesa Mashinani campaign.
Sources say the DP had plotted Lagat’s impeachment through the Nandi senator Stephen Sang who is DP Ruto’s ally along with MCAs led by Samuel Sawe who is the majority leader, minority leader Eliud Kirongo and chief whip Wilson Sang ignored calls to impeach the governor.
Analysts say after the DP and his allies realised that over 30 MCAs are behind Governor Lagat, they changed tact and directed their anger at Keter whom they vowed to kick out of URP.
Ruto allies were caught off guard during a presidential public rally in Eldoret when Charles Keter captured national attention by looking at Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Ruto in the eye and telling them to get rid of the thieves in their midst.
Keter told Uhuru and Ruto that the standard gauge railway project launched by the president was three times overpriced, and its tender was unprocedurally awarded. He went on to accuse Uhuru and Ruto of sidelining Kalenjin professionals in government appointments.
To show how Uhuru and Ruto were disappointed and annoyed by Keter’s allegations, he was denied a chance to speak at Kapkatet Stadium the next day. He was even denied a seat in the front row reserved for MPs but was allocated a seat in the other dais.
Sometimes in January 2014, drama unfolded at a funeral in Nandi Hills after MPs and senators allied to the DP’s URP and Jubilee were ejected from a funeral after they attempted to discredit Keter over his public outburst against the  government.
Trouble started when MPs and senators led by national assembly majority leader Aden Duale and Elgeyo Marakwet senator, Kipchumba Murkomen launched attacks on Keter during the funeral of Kiprop Lelei in Taito location, accusing him of being used by the opposition to break Jubilee and claiming that his politics is petty.
The angry mourners vented their frustration on the legislators booing and eventually ejecting them from the function by force for discrediting Keter, whom they referred to as their ‘brave son’.
Keter who arrived minutes later on foot received a warm welcome with the mourners urging him to continue with the good work of exposing the rot in Uhuru/Ruto’s government.
Sources revealed that the DP who was to attend the burial after attending the homecoming party of Vihiga MP, Yusuf Chanzu, was forced to cancel his trip to avoid being heckled and instead chose to address a small gathering in Aldai just to pass time.
During the last general elections, Keter garnered 20,330 votes while ODM’s Titus Kipchirchir got 1,664 votes. Others were Kiprotich Richard of UDF, 2,768, Mengich Joel Malakwen of Restore and Build Kenya,749, Ngetich Kimeli of the National Vision Party, 396, Sitienei  Kiplagat of Kanu,563 and Tarus George of People’s Democratic Party, 8,822.
Ruto’s other big headache is whether URP should have a candidate in case of a by-election or field a candidate through Jap. The fear is that Jap has not been well received in Rift Valley as was witnessed during the Kajiado by-election.
Guv Ruto shocked many when he sent congratulatory message to ODMs Elijah Memusi for defeating the Jap candidate Patrick Tuitui. “I want to congratulate the people of Kajiado for speaking in one voice and shaming Jubilee. They should now know that Kenyans will only vote for leaders with an agenda,” he said.
Guv Ruto has been a critic of the Jubilee administration and on several occasions appeared to support Cord leader Raila Odinga. However, in the past months, he has maintained that he is still in Jubilee but has hinted out of a possible exit from the ruling coalition in 2017.
Another factor that may greatly affect the performance of the URP candidate in the looming by-election is the fact that Kanu, a party that had dominated the region for several years during the reign of former president Daniel arap Moi is also restructuring and may field a candidate in the by-election.

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