Nominated Senator Victor Prengei has promised to rally Ogiek community behind Deputy President William Ruto in the 2022 presidential elections.
Mr Prengei said the community was perturbed by a statement attributed to Nakuru County Jubilee Secretary Peter Cheruiyot which claimed that the community would support Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju for the top seat.
Mr Cheruiyot said that with the increasing political heat and divisions, Mr Tuju was the right candidate to unite Kenyans.
“Some of the presidential candidates who are going round the country doing early campaigns to succeed President Kenyatta have tribal, political and corruption baggage which Mr Tuju doesn’t have and that is why he is the most preferred candidate for 2022 presidential election,” said Mr Cheruiyot.
“Mr Cheruiyot’s statement was not issued on behalf of the community, he is not the community’s spokesperson,” said Mr Prengei.
He added: “When such an alarming statement is released to the public without the blessings of the Ogiek council of elders, then we read political mischief.”
Mr Prengei, who was accompanied by a nominated Ward Rep Benazir Busienei, said the community was concerned by reckless statements being made by some leaders.
“The Ogieks shall remain behind the DP since he has been supporting many development projects in the community,” said Mr Prengei in Nakuru on Thursday.
The nominated senator claimed the community had been neglected by past regimes until President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government took over and promised to address the issues affecting the community.
“President Kenyatta’s government has appointed a task force to look into the land problems affecting the Ogiek, we have a lot of confidence in the two principals,” said Mr Prengei who claimed that some leaders were using the Ogiek community’s name to advance their personal agenda.
“Let it be known that our stand as Ogiek has not changed, we still believe Dr Ruto is the sure bet to take the baton from President Uhuru Kenyatta when his second term ends in 2022,” said Mr Prengei.
Mr Busienei said: “The Ogieks know what Dr Ruto and the Jubilee government have done to them, the community and has no reason to support another [presidential] candidate,” said Mr Busienei.
He warned those issuing alarming statements about the community for political mileage to refrain from such outbursts.