Jubilee aspirants in the Rift Valley are furious President Uhuru Kenyatta has failed to back DP William Ruto against accusations by nomination losers in Central that he rigged them out.
They denounce Uhuru’s silence in public and virtually accuse him of abandoning the DP after all his good work. If that’s so, then the President can find his own supporters in the vote-rich Rift Valley, they say.
These Ruto supporters plan a major meeting in Kericho this weekend when they will publicly express their frustrations with the President.
In what they call the ‘Sosiot Declaration’, the defeated politicians, led by candidates for governor in Kalenjin areas, will air grievances during the meeting at Sosiot Grounds in Kericho.
The grievances were identified last Saturday at a meeting at Lake Bogoria attended by 73 aspirants for Senate, National Assembly and governor. It was chaired by governor candidates including Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, Joyce Laboso of Bomet, Paul Chepkwony of Kericho and Simon Kachapin West Pokot.
Atop the agenda was the relationship between Uhuru and Ruto. Aspirants said the President’s arm of Jubilee did not appreciate Ruto’s contributions.
“We were all unanimous President Uhuru was not treating Ruto well, especially because, while Ruto spent sleepless nights sorting out issues during the bungled nominations, the President’s people have been busy accusing Ruto of all manner of things. This is unacceptable,” a governor at the meeting told the Star.
Aspirants were particularly unhappy Uhuru had not publicly defended Ruto against claims he rigged out some people in Central Kenya, as part of his bid for 2022.
Independent candidates from Central, as part of his bid, and others who lost JP tickets have blamed Ruto on various occasions.
Ruto personally took over Jubilee nominations after it flopped on the first day covering half the country. He spent days at the JP secretariat, ensuring primaries would be successful countrywide and appeals heard promptly.
“This is the man who sorted out the problems. How is that he is now being blamed and his boss does not bother to defend him in public? This weekend we plan to tell the President very clearly that he must stand with Ruto through thick and thin,” an MP aspirant from Nakuru county said.
Aspirants also complained that while Ruto has been busy meeting and reconciling JP winners and losers in Nairobi and elsewhere, Uhuru has openly said he has no problem with independents backing him.
“We feel the President is being selfish. He does not care about his Jubilee aspirants but wants his vote at all costs. We’ll tell him if that is the case, let him come and look for his own vote in Kalenjin land. We will look for our votes,” another governor aspirant told the Star.
The group is particularly unhappy Uhuru cut a deal with Kanu leader Gideon Moi — DP Ruto’s main rival — which is hurting them politically in the region.
Kanu has endorsed Uhuru for a second term after he met retired President Daniel Moi. Earlier, Uhuru’s mother Mama Ngina met Moi in Kabarak. In the deal, Kanu is allowed to field its own candidates at all levels but back Kenyatta for President. If Uhuru wins, Moi and Kanu get Cabinet slots and other benefits.
Thus, Kanu has fielded candidates for virtually all Rift Valley seats, and some stand good chances of defeating Jubilee.
“These Kanu people are fighting us on the ground viciously because of the deal Kenyatta did with them. See what’s is happening in Elgeyo Marakwet where Ruto’s strong ally Kipchumba Murkomen is being fought by Kanu’s David Kimaiyo who does not even like the President? What happens if he wins? The President needs to draw a line like NASA leaders have done,” a Senate aspirant said.
NASA presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga and running mate Kalonzo Musyoka have urged supporters to ignore independents.
Kenyatta was cleared to run for a second term yesterday after he presented nomination papers, with Ruto as his running mate. He arrived at the Kenyatta International Convention Center accompanied by jubilant supporters who had followed him from Nairobi’s Eastlands where he had addressed rallies.
The President addressed rallies at Donholm, Buru Buru, Bahati, City Stadium and Muthurwa in Nairobi’s Eastlands where he said a second term would allow the Jubilee Administration to continue its development programmes.
“We are not people who rely on propaganda and we do not incite Kenyans against each other. All we want is for Kenyans to be together and enjoy prosperity,” the President said in Donholm.
He said Jubilee has delivered on its promise to expand road networks. He said the expansion of the road network in Eastlands was delayed over consideration concerning displacement of traders along the road.
President Kenyatta urged Kenyans to remain peaceful during the electioneering period, adding that the Jubilee Administration stands for unity and peace.
“We said Kenya will not progress through tribalism or incitement and our pledge has always been to unite Kenyans,” he said.
“Beginning next year, we are promising no parent will be asked to pay secondary school fees and we have already factored Sh5 billion in the new budget for that” the President said.
DP Ruto urged the residents to vote for Mike Sonko as Nairobi governor because he understands Nairobi’s problems more than Governor Evans Kidero “who reads about the problems of the city in newspapers only and has no idea what city residents go through”.
Sonko said the current county government has done little and has ignored the plight of those struggling to make an honest living.
“The jua kali sector has been ignored. There is money for constructing decent sheds for jua kali workers but because of corruption in the county government, those sheds are sold to them for Sh500,000,” said Sonko.
He said in his first hundred days, he would provide the sheds free of charge and also reduce the many licenses that are used to “fleece” money from them.
The Jubilee nominee for Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said the composition of the Nairobi Jubilee team proves that the Jubilee Party is not based on tribe.