Deputy President William Ruto seems to have softened his stance on Kenya African National Union Chairman Gideon Moi, calling on him to support his 2022 presidential bid.
The DP, who spoke in Kabarnet on Sunday, pleaded with the Baringo senator to stop frustrating his bid.
“Kalya weri sikotuptocho batai ako kikirip kwan kenyishek chechang? (Why is he (Gideon) fighting me yet we supported his father’s presidency for many years?” Mr Ruto asked in Kalenjin.
He called on Baringo County residents to embrace dialogue, citing an incident last week when residents of Kabartonjo in Baringo North Sub-county openly rebelled against him and threatened to demonstrate during his tour then.
The residents protested about the removal of Mr Yatich Kangugo as the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) acting managing director and complained about Jubilee’s “unfulfilled promises” to the region.
The merger of the DP’s United Republican Party (URP) and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) to form the yet-to-be-launched Jubilee Party has caused jitters in Rift Valley, with some residents fearing the region could lose its political identity in terms of a strong party representation. They see Kanu as a lifeline.
Mr Moi has in the recent past been traversing the vast Rift Valley urging residents to join Kanu.
That has not gone down well with Mr Ruto’s URP supporters, who perceive it to be a scheme to weaken the DP’s hold on the region.
Mr Ruto had dismissed Kanu as having lost its footing in the vote-rich region. But on Sunday, he seemed to strike a reconciliatory note with Senator Moi, saying Jubilee Party was firm, organised and prepared for 2017 General Election.
“When did I wrong the Kanu chairman to the extent that he does not want to support me?” Mr Ruto asked.
“Competition for political office should not be ethnic-based and leaders should be voted on the basis of agenda, programme, policy and development records. Let us compete over policy and development issues but not petty politics.”
Speaking in Eldama Ravine last week, Mr Moi told off his rivals, whom he said were beginning to panic over the party’s growing popularity and heightened activities in the region.