A silent rebellion against Deputy President William Ruto is slowly building up in the Rift Valley with some MPs being critical of what they sat is Ruto’s soft stance on matters of national importance.
The MPs are especially irked that Ruto has remained complacent even as plum state jobs are being distributed to one half of the Jubilee government.
The URP legislators are also chafing under what they describe as “Ruto’s iron fist” which has seen them gagged whenever they want to raise their concerns about how the government is being run.
The disharmony is not only limited to MPs but some of Ruto’s close associates have expressed their concerns that his erstwhile political protégé, Joshua Kutuny was appointed as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s political advisor without any consultation or notice.
Kutuny, who is a former Cherangany MP, comes from Rift Vally and was a member of URP which is headed by Ruto. His appointment has reportedly caused some strain as it has created the perception that he is developing an alternative centre of power in the Rift Valley to rival his former mentor who is considered the undisputed political kingpin.
This is because his perceived closeness with President Uhuru and his willingness to help Kalenjins access government jobs easily might overshadow Ruto.
Those within the Ruto camp say Kuttuny has also displeased them for his statements when they alleged that some powerful individuals currently in government coached witnesses to implicate Ruto. Ruto is said to have chided Kutuny for having become the top TNA defender in the government.
In the last few weeks Kutuny has become an aggressive defender of the Jubilee administration on issues that some within the URP think he should have shown some caution.
Kutuny is among the few leaders from the region who did not join the bandwagon of those claiming that Ruto was being ‘fixed’ by some top government officials.
Kuttuny robustly defended the government against these allegations and urged the leaders to desist from making statements on the ongoing ICC cases at the International Criminal Court.
“The ill-advised position being portrayed by some leaders that some individuals in the Jubilee government who served during retired President Mwai Kibaki’s regime, in one way or another coached ICC witnesses to testify against the Deputy President William Ruto should be treated as utterly contemptuous and uncalled for,” he said.
The tensions between Ruto and Kutuny has been aggravated by complaints from the leaders who feel that Ruto has been overly pre-occupied with his ICC trial to the detriment of the party’s wellbeing.
“The deputy president is now becoming too petty asking which politician met who or did what when he should be more concerned with the jubilee government which is giving the URP side a raw deal,” said an MP who sought anonymity.
Other MPs interviewed said they were concerned that Ruto was becoming more of an ‘apologist’ for the Jubilee government which continued to give the URP a raw deal in its operations.
The MPs are also unhappy with manner two officials in Ruto’s office— Faruk Kibet and Marryanne Keitany— were handling their concerns and accused the two of feeding the Deputy President with “cheap propaganda” about MPs who were critical of Ruto.
On Friday Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter while appearing on Kass FM’s Len Nee Emet programe gave the jubilee government a two month ultimatum to resolve some of the emerging issues or else “they will reconsider their position with TNA.”
Keter, who was supported by many of the callers to the talk show asked why Ruto has not pushed for the confirmation of some CEOs heading state parastatals.
He cited the CEOs of Kenya power, NSSF,NCPB who have been serving in an acting capacity for several months and who are yet to be confirmed to these positions.
He said the Kalenjin were also being shortchanged in state appointments as many of those who qualified for such appointments were ignored by Cabinet Secretaries who were more interested in ensuring their own candidates got the job. Keter cited the selection of the Kenya Bureau of Standards boss as an example.