Deputy President William Ruto’s allies drawn from the Rift Valley region are holding a meeting at a Naivasha hotel to discuss the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI) report.
The two-day retreat at the Lake Naivasha Lodge that kicked off Thursday evening and is attended by close to 100 leaders is expected to culminate in a major pronouncement that pundits say could play a part in shaping the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
Several Members of Parliament from Rift Valley who spoke to the Nation yesterday said the meeting would discuss the BBI report so that the region can take a common stand.
“After the meeting, we shall give our resolutions," said Kuresoi South MP Joseph Tonui. The meeting comes at a time when the implementation of the BBI report has split the ruling Jubilee Party.
By Thursday afternoon, more than 80 legislators had arrived at the hotel for the meeting that will be chaired by Senate Majority Leader and the region’s parliamentary group caucus chairman Kipchumba Murkomen.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech said the event was a teambuilding forum meant for leaders from the region, but it will also be used to discuss a myriad of issues with regard to the region's development.
“We want to share our experiences and deliberate about key socio-economic and political issues touching on the Rift Valley region. The meeting is purely a team-building exercise," explained Mr Koech.
However, the political significance of the meeting is not lost to observers who argued that it would culminate in a declaration on the 2022 presidential race.
“Coming days after the President met leaders from the Mount Kenya region, it is clear that the Naivasha meeting forge realignments ahead of the 2022 elections,” said Mr Jesse Karanja, a Nakuru-based political analyst.
The Nation learnt that the retreat will bring together both political and religious leaders, professionals and opinion leaders from the region.
But Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama told the Nation that he had not received an invitation and was brusquely dismissive of the meeting. “It is just DP Ruto sympathisers deliberating on 2022 politics.”