Central leaders vow to support DP Ruto - Daily Nation

Central leaders vow to back DP William Ruto for 2022

Wednesday August 8 2018

Soy MP Caleb Kositany with governors Stephen

Soy MP Caleb Kositany with governors Stephen Sang (Nandi) Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) and Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu). PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DENNIS LUBANGA
More by this Author

Leaders from Central Kenya on Tuesday promised to ensure that the region repays the political debt it owes Deputy President William Ruto come the 2022 presidential contest.

They said the DP had been loyal to President Uhuru Kenyatta since they teamed up before the 2013 elections.

Speaking in Uasin Gishu yesterday, they assured their colleagues from the Rift Valley that they will not betray the DP, who has stood with the President in the last two elections.

Speaking in Kuinet, Soy Constituency, during the burial of Ms Salina Jematia Lelei, the step-mother of Uasin Gishu County Governor Jackson Mandago, the leaders vowed to work as a bloc to ensure that the DP succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The leaders, who included governors Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), Muthomi Njuki (Tharaka Nithi), Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri) and Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri, said the time had come to return the favour accorded them by the Rift Valley.

RETURN FAVOUR

"All we are waiting for is 2022 to return the favour. It is unfortunate that some leaders claim that Central Kenya will not support Mr Ruto's presidential bid, but we are telling them to watch this space," said Governor Waititu.

The assurance came against the backdrop of growing claims of a rift between the President and his deputy following the former’s handshake with opposition leader Raila Odinga in March.

Since the handshake, a number of vocal politicians from Central have been saying that the region does not owe anyone a debt to be paid in 2022, statements that raised tension in the Rift Valley.

The DP was recently forced to address the claims when he said no one owed him a political debt.

Mr Waititu also asked the Deputy President to be cautious of Mr Odinga, whom he claimed is out to scuttle Mr Ruto's presidential bid.

"I know Raila better than all of you. My plea to the DP is that he avoid him like the plague," said Governor Waititu, adding that as Mt Kenya leaders, they will put all their votes in one basket.

FINDING RUNNING MATE

Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki, who delivered a condolence message on behalf of the Council of Governors, said Central Kenya will not abandon the Rift Valley.

"Rift Valley has supported us for 10 years and there is no way we are going to walk out on you. Everything is on course and the only headache now is finding Mr Ruto's running mate," Mr Njuki said.

Nyeri Governor Kahiga told the DP's opponents to expect a tough battle in 2022.

"All those planning to run against Mr Ruto should expect a tough duel in 2022 because we have assembled our machinery and are ready for them,” said Mr Kahiga.

PARTY IS INTACT

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, also said Central Kenya will back the DP to the end.

"I want to assure everyone that we are together on this journey with our friends in the Rift Valley. We cannot forget where we are coming from and where we are heading to," he said.

Other Jubilee leaders present said that the party is intact.

"We want to tell everyone that we are firmly behind President Kenyatta. We formed the Jubilee Party and it is here to stay. It was created on ideology, not tribalism," said Kipkelion West MP Hillary Kosgey.