By Vincent Bartoo and Kepher Otieno
|Prime Minister Raila Odinga with traditional dancers at Laisamis Airstrip in Marsabit County. [Photo: PMPS]|
ODM South Rift MPs are on Saturday expected to make a major political announcement.
Speculations are rife that the MPs are likely to announce they have quit the orange party.
The move is linked to the issues of Mau evictees and a notion that Prime Minister Raila Odinga may not pick his running mate from the area. Sources intimated to The Standard On Saturday that Belgut MP Charles Keter is spearheading the move to have Rift Valley solidly behind Eldoret North MP William Ruto. The MPs argue that some parties with presence in Rift Valley may not field presidential candidates and thus will offer Ruto an opportunity to ask for their support in his presidential bid.
“There are also some political figures, who are quietly engaging Keter on this matter. It is a two-pronged political deal,” said a source, who did not wish to be named. Rift Valley Parliamentary Group chairman and Mosop MP David Koech was non-committal on the plan but said all strategies were being employed to ensure Ruto’s bid attracts support from all quarters.
“Yes, we are speaking to everyone, not only in Rift Valley but all over Kenya. Anyone who believes in Ruto regardless of their parties can join our fold,” he said.
He cited Kenda party’s Marakwet East MP Linah Kilimo, Samuel Poghisio in Wiper Democratic Movement and Narc Kenya’s Baringo East MP Asman Kamama.
Into the fold
“They are all supporting Ruto’s bid because of his ideals. You will see more coming into the fold,” he told The Standard On Saturday on Saturday.
Koech said they would welcome the South Rift MPs, who have threatened to ditch ODM if they were willing to back Ruto.
“If they have now seen the light, we welcome them. We are willing to work with everyone who supports our quest to change this country for the better under Ruto’s leadership,” he added.The MPs, led by Kipkelion legislator Magarer Langat, threatened to quit ODM if their constituents evicted from Mau forest in 2008 are not resettled.
His counterpart, Lorna Laboso, quit the Mau Resettlement Committee to display her displeasure with stalled resettlement.