You owe Ruto political debt, Rift MPs tell Nyanza voters

DP William Ruto when he delivered a speech at Chatham House in London in February, 2019. [File, Standard]

Five MPs from Rift Valley have claimed ODM supporters owe Deputy President William Ruto a political debt over his support for Raila Odinga's 2007 State House bid.

 The MPs, who were hosted by their Bondo counterpart Gideon Ochanda at a funeral in Masamba village in Yimbo East, urged the Luo community to pay the debt by supporting Ruto in his 2022 Presidential bid.

 The MPs were speaking during the burial of Joash Nalo, the father-in-law to Lang'ata MP Nickson Korir.

 The first to fire the salvo was Nelson Koech (Belgut), who said the Luo community have the DP's debt which they should pay in 2022.

 "We've come a long way and you know very well that the DP stood with Raila in 2007 elections. It's therefore in no doubt that you owe us support in the next elections," said Koech.

 In reference to remarks made by Siaya Senator James Orengo and Deputy Minority leader in National Parliament John Mbadi, who asked Uhuru Kenyatta to name his 2022 successor, the MP said it was an indication that the community was not sure of their presidential candidate in the next elections.

 "We are good neighbours and if you are not sure of who to support in 2022, our door is open and we welcome you to join us in this course," said Koech.

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 Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot who urged the community to join the Tanga Tanga Team, said Ruto was the force to reckon in the 2022 presidential elections.

 "Ruto helped Raila to rise from an MP to a Prime Minister and we are therefore urging you to join our team because we will make him a bigger seat than the presidency," said the senator.

 But Ochanda, who urged Kenyans to embrace the newfound unity between president Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, said there was no other bigger seat in this country than the presidency.

 Jubilee Party's Deputy Secretary General Caleb Kositany challenged the community to look for an alternative presidential candidate other than those who have been in the race.

 The Soi MP added that the DP has a better chance of leading this country. "The history of this country has it that the mantle of leadership has always been handed over from the old to the younger generations. The next leadership should be a generation gap of between 45-52 years, where the DP falls.

 He continued, "If Luos can bring forth a candidate who falls in this age bracket, then he/she is welcomed to join us in this brigade as we chat the destiny of this country."

 Lang'ata MP however called Kenyans to live in harmony, saying both the DP and former Premier have worked together for the good of this nation.

 He said that in politics, nothing is impossible and therefore said that they will tour the whole country to drum support for the DP.

 "We pushed Uhuru Kenyatta to be the president and as he will be finishing his term in 2022, we are still ready to work with Raila," said Korir.

 Ruto and Raila were close political friends during the 2007 Presidential campaigns but parted ways soon after the  post-election violence when Ruto alongside President Uhuru and four others  were indicted  by the  International Criminal Court  for allegedly perpetrating the violence, that left over 1,000  people killed  and over 6,000  others  displaced.

 They have been sworn political enemies since then and Ruto has openly been accusing Raila of using his handshske with the President to stop him from succeeding President Kenyatta.

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Luo communityRift ValleyWilliam RutoRaila Odinga