A major rift has emerged among Jubilee Members of Parliament from the Rift Valley over remarks by a section of lawmakers that Deputy President William Ruto should be investigated over the maize and fertiliser scandals.
Eleven MPs lashed out at their colleagues who want Mr Ruto to be probed, calling them detractors hell-bent on derailing the DP’s presidential ambitions.
The MPs accused their colleagues of being ‘mercenaries’ hired by the DP’s enemies.
The MPs who came out to defend Mr Ruto are Mr Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho Senator), Mr Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), Mr Caleb Kositany (Soy), Mr Robert Pukose (Endebess), Mr William Kisang (Marakwet West), Mr Lodepe Nakara (Turkana Central), Mr Moses Lesonnet (Eldama Ravine), Mr Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Mr Slyvanus Maritim (Ainamoi), Mr Nelson Koech (Belgut) and Mr Japhet Mutai (Bureti).
They accused their colleagues of using the suffering of farmers to champion their own selfish political agenda.
In a strongly worded statement read at Parliament Buildings on Monday, the MPs said their colleagues were ‘cheap hired mercenaries’ who don’t have the interests of farmers at heart but are only keen on bringing Mr Ruto down politically.
On Sunday, Mr Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Mr Joshua Kutuny (Cherengany) and Mr Silas Tiren (Moiben) said the DP should be probed over the maize crisis in the country. “What we know is that these problems are because of the DP and his office,” Mr Keter claimed without adducing any evidence.
The three legislators were speaking during a farmers’ meeting at TAC Centre in Eldoret to chart the way forward on the challenges in the sector.
“The three, despite being MPs, have not authored any single solution to help farmers. We know the Deputy President’s political detractors have failed to contain him, now they have resorted to hiring cheap mercenaries who roam from place to place in an attempt to slow him at home to create an impression that he is having a problem — that is further from the truth,” Mr Kositany said.
“The three politicians sent on this errand are known brokers, in fact one of them, Alfred Keter, who fashions himself as a crusader for the oppressed is a known criminal, facing numerous forgery and theft cases amounting to hundreds of millions of shillings,” said Mr Kositany who read the statement.
“The allegations … are neither factual nor believable,” Mr Kositany added.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot and Robert Pukose (Endebes), while admitting that there is a problem in the maize sector, said blaming the DP is unhelpful.
“They capitalise on any opportunity whenever there is trouble affecting the government. We know their masters and we will soon name them. They pretend to be messiahs for the farmers yet they don’t advocate their issues on the floor of the House,” Mr Cheruiyot said.
“They are all elected leaders but have never sponsored even a single motion aimed at solving the problems farmers face but they are quick to attend funerals and accuse the Deputy President,” he added.