Political leaders in Rift Valley are set to tip the political scales once again as they strategise for the 2022 elections.
Some of them say plans are underway to join other parties away from Jubilee Party.
Some say they fear being caught in middle of having to choose between pledging their allegiance to President Uhuru Kenyatta or his deputy William Ruto in the bubbling ‘Tanga Tanga’ verses ‘Kieleweke’ exchanges.
The contests between these two sides were exacerbated by the handshake between President Uhuru and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Uasin Gishu politician and businessman Zedekiah Bundotich, popularly known as Buzeki, said Jubilee Party had lost popularity in the Rift Valley and it was time politicians joined other outfits.
Buzeki, who was perceived to be a close ally of DP Ruto, claimed many independent-minded leaders from the Rift Valley not aligned to the top Jubilee leaders are positioning themselves in other parties ahead of 2022.
Last week, Bundotich, MPs Joshua Kuttuny (Cherangany), Silas Tiren (Moiben) and Baringo Central’s Joshua Kandie met at a Nairobi hotel – a meeting that has set tongues wagging.
“We have discovered that there is no democracy in Jubilee. Elective positions are dished out based on patronage and sycophancy and we will not want to see a repeat of what happened in 2017,” said the Chemelil Sugar Company board chairman who contested the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat as an independent candidate.
But Baringo North MP William Cheptumo, Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren and Eldama Ravine’s Moses Lesonnet termed the turbulence in Jubilee as a “passing cloud.”
“Count on me fully. I will mobilise all votes and make sure the entire Baringo County is locked for DP Ruto in 2022,” Kamuren said.
Moiben MP Silas Tiren claimed the political battle in the Rift Valley is between politicians fighting to safeguard farmers’ interests and those who are only defending the presidential ambitions of one individual.
He said the Kalenjin community lost out in the recent plum state appointments due to lack of a strong defender of its interests in government.
Tiren and Bundotich claimed several leaders from the region had expressed interests in joining Chama Cha Mashinani, a party headed by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto
“Jubilee is now a stalled vehicle whose gearbox has been taken away. Its journey is turbulent and our people must not remain there,” said Buzeki.
He termed CCM as the vehicle for the region after the dissolution of the United Republican Party (URP).
[Report by Stephen Rutto, Nikko Tanui, Steve Mkawale and Julius Chepkwony]