Gusii leaders divided over Ruto and Matiang’i

Deputy President William Ruto and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i at a past function. [File]
A political duel between Deputy President William Ruto and politicians believed to be allied to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is shaping up in the Gusii region.

The two camps are pulling apart and have openly displayed their different affiliations, with those opposed to Ruto understood to be pushing an agenda for Matiang’i.

Ruto was in Nyamira two weeks ago where he addressed four rallies alongside the MPs allied to him.

And in less than 10 days, the other camp organised an event at Tindereti in Nyamira that was viewed as a counter-rally to Ruto’s.

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Those believed to be allied to Matiang’i include Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama, Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri and his Nyamira counterpart Okong’o Mogeni, Nakuru West MP Samuel Arama and a host of MCAs from the region.

The DP’s camp comprises MPs Joash Nyamoko, who is the Chairman of Gusii MPs Caucus, Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira Woman Rep), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango), Ben Momanyi (Borabu) Alfa Miruka (Machoge Chache), Innocent Obiri (Bobasi) and Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango).

However, Matiang’i has denied any involvement in the ongoing political abrasions and maintained he remains a civil servant until his contract ends.

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“I am a civil servant and it should be understood so. I don’t play politics because I have unfinished task of serving Kenyans as the President wants,” the CS told the Sunday Standard.

In the rally at Tindereti, speakers were against Ruto’s presidential ambitions.

All speakers talked about a possible way of blocking a Ruto presidency in 2022, with all of them saying a different person should be president.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who also attended the rally, told Gusii residents to ensure neither Ruto nor any politician from the two large voting blocs of Central and Rift Valley ascends to the presidency.

Similar views were echoed by Ongeri, Nyagarama and Okong’o.

They said they will support Dr Matiang’i if he expresses interest in any political seat.

Arama said politicians from the Gusii region supporting Ruto at the expense of Matiang’i will lose their seats in the next polls.

“We cannot continue supporting a leader from whom we have not seen any benefit. We supported President Kenyatta together with Ruto but the post of Cabinet Secretary we have was Uhuru’s reward to us. What did the DP give us in his share of Cabinet slots?” Arama posed.

But Nyamoko defends Ruto over appointments.

“Matiang’i was appointed after Uhuru and DP agreed over it. No decision was made by the President that never had his deputy’s blessings,” said the North Mugirango MP. 

Okong’o said Matiang’i is the uniting factor of the Gusii community.

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William RutoFred Matiang’iGusii region