NAIROBI, Kenya, May 16 – Rift Valley leaders on Saturday denied reports that there is a supremacy battle in the region.
Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto who has been reported as warming up to the Opposition in the recent past said his criticism of the government should not be seen as an abandonment of the ruling coalition on whose ticket he was elected.
He said he was simply highlighting concerns that needed to be urgently addressed by the relevant authorities.
“We were in Parliament at the same time and we worked together,” he said of Deputy President William Ruto. “So there is no problem between us. I request you Deputy President to take some time to meet us.”
He however said nothing of abandoning the ‘Pesa Mashinani’ (money to the grassroots) drive which in concurrence with the Opposition’s ‘Okoa Kenya’ referendum push, seeks to have enshrined in law, an increased monetary allocation for the county governments and to see more public services devolved.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who has also been reported as scheming to unseat the Deputy President as Rift Valley ‘kingpin’ on Saturday, together with the Bomet Governor, also pledged his support to the former KANU official.
“The seat of the Deputy President and Senator of Baringo is not vacant. I have never wanted the Deputy President’s seat. This is his seat and I have mine,” he said.
The two leaders spoke in Kericho at the burial of former Ainamoi Member of Parliament Noah Arap Too who was also Kenya’s longest serving Director of Criminal Investigations in Daniel arap Moi’s government.
The Deputy President was in attendance as was the Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen – both avid supporters of the Deputy President.
It therefore came as no surprise when they took on the Bomet governor Isaac Ruto and urged him to play at his, “political level.”
“Some governors have got a few billions now they think they are at the same level as the Deputy President,” Duale said.
Murkomen therefore urged the region’s leaders to be satisfied with their place on the political hierarchy in the time left to the next general election and unite in the service of area residents.
“How can you expect to lead if you cannot be led? Wait your turn,” he urged.
On his part, the Deputy President championed the Jubilee Alliance Party; the child of the United Republican Party which he leads and The National Alliance Party of which President Uhuru Kenyatta is leader. There being reports that not all URP members, mainly drawn from the Deputy President’s stronghold of the Rift Valley, were happy with the merger.