alexa Patrick Khaemba, Kibunguchy in trouble for backing Ruto - Daily Nation

Patrick Khaemba, Kibunguchy in trouble for backing Ruto

Tuesday May 21 2019

Ruto and Khaemba

Deputy President William Ruto (C) chats with Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba and Kiambu's Ferdinand Waititu during a fundraiser in aid of several churches at Tuuyo Kony Secondary School in Marambach, Trans-Nzoia County, on May 18, 2019. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
More by this Author

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba and Likuyani MP Enoch Kibunguchy have found themselves in trouble for supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition.

Their Ford Kenya party, whose leader is Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula, has vowed action against them.

On Tuesday, party Secretary-General Eseli Simiyu, said officials will meet soon to discuss the declaration by the two at the weekend.

It is wrong for members of Ford Kenya to promote rival outfits, Dr Simiyu noted.

OPTIONS WEIGHED

Mr Khaemba, a longtime Ford Kenya member and a second-term county boss, is the second governor in weeks to switch allegiance and back Dr Ruto.

His declaration came two weeks after one by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok of the Orange Democratic Movement.

While hosting the DP in Saboti, Mr Khaemba said, “I was not in Jubilee. I belong to a house that is now full of smoke. I have weighed my options ... though I have a bald head, I have a sharp brain.

"I asked myself whether I should continue living in a house full of smoke or build another house. We, the 14 governors in Rift Valley, have agreed to work together this time round."

Dr Kibunguchy said the constituency was bound to benefit from a Ruto presidency. Likuyani borders Turbo, the DP’s home constituency.

KANU DAYS

Dr Simiyu, who is also Tongaren MP, pointed out that the governor’s actions were against the Political Parties Act that bars members of any party from publicly advocating for another outfit.

“The party will meet soon and make a decision on this. Any member who was elected under our party but wants to shift allegiance should quit and go for re-election because that is what the law says,” he told the Nation by phone.

Dr Simiyu took issue with the DP’s “poaching” of politicians from other parties, saying he entices them with government projects.

“It is wrong for someone of the DP’s stature to promote this kind of lawlessness. This is an attempt to break other political parties through poaching of members with the intention of jeopardising their political careers," he said.

“The DP is taking us way back to Kanu days when people were enticed with development projects in exchange for their support. this is totally wrong. Every citizen in Kenya is entitled to development despite their political affiliation,” the official added. 

EXPULSION RISK

Ford Kenya Organising Secretary Chris Mandu also said Mr Khaemba broke the law and dictates of the Constitution so action will be taken against him.

“The law is clear that anyone who associates or promotes the ideals of another party will be expelled from the party he or she was elected under," Mr Mandu told the Nation on Tuesday.

"It is clear that the governor has broken the law. This is a serious offence. We have not met to consider his situation but I can tell you the party takes this matter seriously."

He added that since Mr Wetang'ula intends to run for the presidency, it was wrong for a member of his party to promote another presidential candidate.