Rift Valley leaders have accused ODM leader Raila Odinga of insincerity after he pledged to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta's administration.
Speaking at a fundraiser at Fort Ternan Full Gospel Church yesterday, they said the Jubilee leadership was not amused by the snubbing of Deputy President William Ruto’s development tours of Nyanza region by leaders allied to Raila.
“Raila talks of having embraced democracy and peace yet he bars leaders, especially from Kisumu, Siaya and Migori, from attending Ruto’s development tours. We ask him to be a statesman and allow ODM leaders to interact with Ruto and everyone else,” said Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen.
Mr Murkomen warned Raila that if he stopped his party members from embracing and working with Rift Valley leaders, he risked forfeiting the goodwill of the Kalenjin community.
“Raila must demonstrate that he is not out to zone his political turf from his competitors,” said Murkomen.
Kipkelion MP Hillary Koskei argued that President Kenyatta’s comments that he would drop a political bombshell in the 2022 General Election was a message meant for Raila.
“The handshake was President Kenyatta’s political trick to remove a stumbling block in Ruto’s path. What the former prime minister should get ready for is just to assist the President in picking Ruto’s running mate,” said Mr Koskei.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot reminded Raila that he owed the Kalenjin community a political debt following their support in the 2007 General Election.
“The former prime minister knows this. That is why he honoured the lunch invite at the deputy president’s residence,” said Mr Cheruiyot.
The senator said the Karen meeting was proof Ruto was owed by Uhuru and Raila. “Ruto’s debt with Uhuru comes from the loyalty and support he has given the President since the 2013 General Election."
Kericho County Assembly Majority Leader Hezron Ng'etich told Murkomen and Cheruiyot not to be ashamed of being called sycophants. “Don’t be ashamed. You are supporting a politician who is destined to become the country’s fifth president."