Deputy President William Ruto has suffered a major blow after being abandoned by one of his key allies in the Rift Valley.
Mr Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop, popularly known as Buzeki, Thursday announced that he wants to chart his own political path and does not want anything to do with Team Tanga Tanga, which is associated with the DP.
Mr Bundotich lost the Uasin Gishu County gubernatorial seat to Mr Jackson Mandago in a hotly-contested election in 2017.
He worked closely with the DP in the last polls and was considered to be his preferred candidate for the Uasin Gishu seat.
He lost narrowly to Mr Mandago in the Jubilee primaries and quit the party to run as an independent candidate but lost to Mr Mandago, garnering 148,124 votes against his opponent’s 193,606.
The business mogul on Wednesday held a private meeting at a Nairobi hotel with a group of leaders from the Rift Valley considered to be ardent opponents of the DP.
Although details about the meeting were scanty, sources told the Nation that the leaders discussed the possibility of revamping Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party, which is led by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, as an alternative to Jubilee Party as the race for the 2022 succession hots up.
“The time has come for me to consider other alternatives. I’m in neither the Kieleweke group nor the Tanga Tanga team,” Mr Bundotich, who is looking to succeed Mr Mandago in 2022, said Thursday.
Those who attended the meeting included Mr Isaac Ruto, Mr Zachariah Cheruiyot, and MPs Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) Silas Tiren (Moiben) and Joshua Kandie (Baringo Central).
Photos doing the rounds on social media showed the leaders in a jovial mood seated at a round-table in a posh hotel.
“We just met for lunch and to discuss socio-economic interests of the community and the challenges Rift Valley farmers are facing. No politics was discussed but we want to understand Mashinani Party a bit more. This is the time for politicians to look for alternatives,” Mr Buzeki told the Nation on phone
Mr Tiren said they met as Rift Valley leaders to discuss and iron out issues touching on the region’s people.
“No one seems to care about them any more. The prices of maize and milk have dropped significantly while our farmers toil day and night. Expect more meetings in the future,” said Mr Tiren.
Sources told the Nation that former Bomet Governor Ruto is gearing for a comeback after losing to Dr Joyce Laboso of Jubilee in the last General Election.