A section of leaders from the Rift Valley region have differed with Deputy President William Ruto and his allies on the fight against corruption and proposals for a constitutional referendum.
Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat said members of Parliament from the region allied to the Deputy President should stop insults targeted at President Uhuru Kenyatta over corruption in the country.
Dr Ruto has been engaged in a public altercation with Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti over the fight against graft in what is seen as an affront against President Kenyatta’s position on the matter.
The leaders, including Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Tungo, former Senator Zipporah Kittony, former Members of Parliament — Mr Paul Sang, Mr Anthony Kimetto and Mr Langat Magerer — said leaders and professionals under investigation should refrain from dragging the community into their problems.
Speaking at Chebonei Girls Secondary School in Bomet County during the opening of a tuition block on Saturday, Mr Moi said the support the government had given to hunger-stricken families in the North Rift was welcome, but the food should be bought directly from farmers.
“In the North Rift and Western Kenya, there are many farmers with maize in their stores which should be bought by the government and distributed to 13 counties affected by drought. The farmers should be supported to grow and feed the country,” Mr Moi proposed.
Mr Ruto said: “Let us all respect President Kenyatta and support his efforts to maintain peace and bring all communities together for the sake of and development.”
Mr Salat said Kalenjin leaders complaining about alleged graft investigations targeted at professionals from the region should allow investigators to do their work.
“Those involved in graft should be dealt with individually, and they should not hide behind members of our community. If they have stolen, let them carry their own cross. If they are clean then they should simply cooperate with investigators,” Mr Salat said.
Mr Salat said it is sad and shocking that some senior politicians are talking back to the President on the fight against corruption when they should be supporting the fight to ensure taxpayers money is not stolen.
“As Kalenjins, we have been projected as a corrupt community when in reality it is a few individuals who have benefited from proceeds of corruption. The guilty are always afraid and are shouting the loudest about the war on graft,” Ms Tungo observed.
Mrs Kittony said: “I have never wavered in the efforts to ensure members of various communities maintain peace and unity for the sake of development in the country.”
“We want to tell the people seeking to scuttle the fight against corruption to keep the community out of the cases and carry their own cross,” Mr Magerer said.
Mr Sang said rallying communities against the corruption purge would not succeed as the people ere getting wiser, especially after learning that billions of shillings set aside for mega projects in their regions had been siphoned off by some individuals.