, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 24 – The battle for the vote-rich Rift Valley has commenced ahead of the 2017 General election.
Daggers have been drawn as leaders exchange words in a bid to gather public support in their favour, the latest being the spat between Deputy President William Ruto and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto that has pulled in legislators from South-Rift led by Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso and Kericho Senator Charles Keter who issued a warning to the governor.
“We want to remind him that the Deputy President is a leader whose national support base cannot be shaken by people of Ruto’s calibre. He should not waste his energy and time on a fool’s errand that will backfire on him sooner or later; this is to tell him that his bad manners will not be tolerated and that Kenyans are watching him,” they warned.
The leaders accompanied by their colleagues from Bomet and Kericho counties lashed out at Governor Ruto for what they referred to as “improper behaviour.”
They accused Ruto of failing to deliver as governor and instead choosing to disrespect fellow leaders and undermining their authority.
“We have been ready and eager to consult and assist him in good faith in the spirit of brotherhood so that his work can be easier and the people of Bomet can benefit. Sadly, he has chosen to neglect development and instead pursue trivial and petty politicking,” said Laboso.
The accused Governor Ruto of working with the Opposition saying he has abandoned the party that brought him to power by constantly looking down upon the Jubilee Coalition and its leadership.
“The governor has defiled his mandate by turning against the movement that brought him to power and undermining the goodwill of the people of Bomet by persisting to discredit the Jubilee Coalition and its leadership,” added Laboso.
“We know whom Isaac Ruto works for, whom he works with and what he is after, ” they charged.
The leaders were reacting to a statement by Ruto where he referred to the Deputy President as a ‘roaming dictator’.
The leaders claim the behaviour by the Governor was to cover up for his inadequacies particularly since he has failed to account for funds allocated to his county.
“It is noteworthy that his attacks become more rabid every time calls for accountability and transparency are made. There are many areas in the county which are marginalised and backward yet he was given the mandate to deliver strategies, initiatives and projects that will turn around Bomet,” they said.
They urged him to make a decision on which side he was leaning politically as his arrogance and short-sightedness would not be tolerated.
“He must learn that to go quickly he can walk alone but if he wants to walk far, he must work with others,” they concluded.
The Bomet Governor who is currently away in Sweden on official business dismissed the leaders’ threats saying he does not regret making the statements he made and will continue speaking his mind.