Elgeyo-Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos is in hot soup for claiming that he has severed links with Deputy President William Ruto citing frustration and insults from Dr Ruto’s allies.
Elgeyo-Marakwet MCAs on Thursday dared the county boss to come out clean and declare if he had ditched Jubilee Party for Kanu, which is led by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
Addressing the press at the Assembly in Iten, the ward reps led by Majority Leader Nathan Kilimo (Sambirir Ward), Deputy Speaker Christopher Kibor (Arror Ward), Musa Limo (Tambach Ward) and John Yator (Emsoo Ward) hit out at Mr Tolgos over what they termed as disrespect for the DP.
Mr Kilimo claimed the governor’s move was a personal decision and do not represent the views of the county residents.
“The DP played a big role in the governor’s re-election by talking to the people when he (Tolgos) was facing stiff competition from an independent candidate. His sentiments are the most unfortunate. We wish him well in Kanu,” said Mr Kilimo.
On Monday, Governor Tolgos announced that he was leaving the DP’s team in search for a more “accommodating” camp as supremacy battle between the DP and Senator Moi intensifies ahead of the 2022 elections.
Mr Tolgos, who has had a long-running personal battle with Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, said he had made the decision not to join the Tanga Tanga team, which he described as being "full of insults and arrogance".
Mr Murkomen is one of the closest allies of the DP and a key member of the Tanga Tanga team.
On Thursday, the MCAs called on Jubilee secretariat to give the way forward claiming that the governor has clearly demonstrated that he was no longer interested in the affairs of Jubilee Party.
“It is clear that he is joining Kanu. The reason for his leaving is his own decision best known to him. We want to clearly state that he is alone in this,” said Mr Kilimo.
Mr Kibor said the governor has a right to warm up to any political party as an individual.
“But as masses of Elgeyo-Marakwet County we are in Jubilee to stay. Until and when advised otherwise in the future. Other issues raised by an individual should be treated as personal sentiments,” said Mr Kibor.
Mr Limo told off leaders from the vote-rich Rift Valley who he claimed were being used to derail Dr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Governor Tolgos joins other leaders including Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, MPs Sila Tiren (Moiben), Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) who have recently shifted camp and are considered to have a soft spot for the Kanu leader.
Last week influential Uasin Gishu politician Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop, commonly referred to as Buzeki, also ditched the Ruto camp citing frustration by those close to the DP.
Although he is yet to declare his next destination, there are rumours that Mr Buzeki could join Chama Cha Mashinani led by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.
Both Mr Ruto and Mr Moi regard the Rift Valley as their political bastion and have been keen to control it for more bargaining power in the 2022 polls.
Those leaving the DP's camp are blaming his close allies, accusing them of arrogance and disrespect.
Mr Tolgos has maintained that he was not happy with the way those close to Dr Ruto were treating other leaders from the region.
Although Mr Tolgos said he was still in Jubilee and would respect both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, he praised Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, the Kanu leader, for respecting other leaders in the region.
Mr Tolgos was part of the team that welcomed opposition leader Raila Odinga to former President Moi’s Kabarak home on Sunday when he went to condole with him over the loss of his son Jonathan two weeks ago.
He becomes the first serving governor from Dr Ruto’s home turf to decamp and join Mr Moi’s camp.
“I am neither in Tanga Tanga nor Kieleweke teams but I do not like the way members of the Tanga Tanga team are doing their things. It should be known that I will never be part of that team. I like the way Gideon Moi is doing his business. He does not insult anyone and will respect you for who you are. He is just like me,” the governor told the Nation.
The soft-spoken county chief said the barrage of insults by the DP’s allies were driving more people away from him.
He has accused Mr Murkomen of being behind the decision by politicians to leave the DP, a claim the Senate majority leader dismissed.
Mr Murkomen said he would not engage with him in what he termed as “sideshows” adding that he was fully focused on serving the people of Elgeyo-Marakwet and executing his duties well as the Senate Majority Leader.
“My greatest focus now is to serve the people of Elgeyo-Marakwet including addressing matters insecurity in Kerio Valley. I do not have time now to engage in sideshows,” said Mr Murkomen.