Rift widens in Jubilee as leaders take another swipe at Uhuru

Former Uasin Gishu County Gubernatorial contender Bundotich Zedekia (Buzeki) with Nandi Governor Stephen Sang during a burial ceremony at Kerotet village in Uasin Gishu. [Kevin Tunoi/Standard]
Leaders in the North Rift yesterday took another swipe at President Uhuru Kenyatta for allegedly sidelining his deputy William Ruto.

Speaking during the burial of Abraham Tirop Basiari at Kerotet area in Soy Constituency, the leaders claimed the head of state’s dalliance with opposition leader Raila Odinga had created more suspicion in the party.

Nandi Governor Stephen Sang claimed Uhuru’s “preference” of the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in the fight against graft and not the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was a matter of great concern.

“We are surprised that Kenyatta is now using (DCI George) Kinoti to fight corruption yet nobody vetted him. If he has faith in him, he should have appointed him to EACC, an independent body that is mandated by law and has all resources to win the war against graft,” Mr Sang said.

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He said the main reason the fight against corruption was not won before the constitution came into force was because it had been politicised and was used to settle political scores.

Sang also questioned why Uhuru chose to work closely with Raila, whom he claimed committed a “treasonable act” by swearing himself in as the people’s president in 2018 at Uhuru Park after the repeat general elections.

“I have never understood his involvement with Raila, who is yet to denounce the initial oath he took insisting that he is the people’s president. That is why his entry into government through handshake has put us in an awkward position. If Kenyatta is interested in another term, he should tell us so that we can negotiate,” he said.

Soy MP Caleb Kositany said though the handshake was now one-year old, there was nothing worth to celebrate as it had caused more divisions and suspicions in the country.

“The handshake was about two people and we were never told any reason for the move. In order to save the situation, Kenyatta should call for a Parliamentary Group meeting so that we can iron out any difference,” Mr Kositany said.

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“When we first voted for you (Uhuru) in 2002 and repeated the same in 2013 and 2017, Raila was not in the picture. Now he is in the middle of every division witnessed in the party,” Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi said.

“As a region, we do not want free things, but we deserve what is rightfully ours because we voted overwhelmingly for him (Uhuru) and have always supported him.”

But speaking in Narok, ODM leaders claimed Ruto was fighting the handshake after realising that it had emboldened the fight against corruption.

The leaders were speaking at Olmotonyi village in Narok North yesterday during the burial of ODM Deputy Vice Chairperson Christine Lemein’s brother, Joseph Lemein.

The party’s Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said the handshake had energised Uhuru in the fight against graft.

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“Even if we have had a handshake with Jubilee, we have always respected their internal affairs. We are surprised that some politicians from one side of Jubilee are now invading our party affairs. They should keep off,” he said.

There was drama during the event after a Jubilee nominated MCA from Nairobi - Leah Nkanae - was booed after she appeared to defend Ruto.

“Every day when we listen to radios, televisions and (read) newspapers, what we see is DP William Ruto this and that. DP Ruto is not your food,” said Ms Nkanae amid jeers.

Some Jubilee leaders present during the event led by area Governor Samuel Tunai and Narok South MP Korei Lemein called for a sober way of fighting corruption without politics.

North RiftPresident Uhuru KenyattaDP William RutoJubilee Rift