You have lost it, Ruto tells Raila allies

By Edwin Cheserek

Agriculture Minister William Ruto hit out at MPs from Rift Valley who are still supporting Prime Minister Raila Odinga, saying they had gone astray.

Mr Ruto said: "The politics of Rift Valley is going in one direction and those who are not in this direction have gone astray and we will deal with them."

The minister said the few legislators were not a threat to the political direction majority of their colleagues had taken.

The Eldoret North MP called the locals to ignore the MPs and support one of their own come the 2012 polls.

Ruto accused Raila of turning his back on the people of Rift Valley who supported him in the 2007 General Election.

He cited the Mau evictions, which the PM spearheaded, alleged unfair distribution of Cabinet slots that discriminated the province and neglect of ODM youth who were arrested over the post-election violence.

Our interests

"Yet he (Raila) will still traverse the region asking for your votes. This time round we shall say no. We need people who we can trust to champion our interests," said Ruto.

The ODM deputy party leader was speaking in Marakwet East District where he led four MPs in presiding over a fundraising in aid of Kerio Valley Boys High School on Saturday.

The MPs were Linah Kilimo (Marakwet East), Moses Lekuton (Laisamis), Charles Keter (Belgut) and Sammy Mwaita (Baringo Central).

They said Ruto will be Rift Valley’s presidential flag bearer in 2012 and that they had made up their minds about it.

Kilimo, who was elected to Parliament on a Kenda Party ticket, told the MPs to ditch ODM. "The suspension of Ruto from Cabinet was a clear indicator that you (MPs and Raila) are no longer friends. What are you still doing there?" she posed.

The Co-operatives Development Assistant Minister hit out at ODM Chairman and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey accusing him of betraying the Kalenjin by his continuous support of the Prime Minister.

"We are all going to support Ruto. Woe unto those who are outside the fold," she added.

Different ideals

Keter said Rift Valley MPs were no longer looking up to Raila for political direction and were firmly behind the Agriculture Minister.

"Even though we are all in ODM, it is clear that our ideals and aspirations are now different," Keter said.

Lekuton and Mwaita led locals in chanting "Ruto for 2012, Ruto Tosha (is enough)".

The MPs said they would oppose the Proposed Constitution if devolved system of government is abolished.

Ruto also said MPs would support the quest by councillors to have counties increased.

He expressed optimism that MPs would make "the most necessary" amendments while retaining the majority wishes of Kenyans.

"I am sure we will reach consensus because majority of clauses in the Proposed Constitution are not our proposals as MPs, they belong to Kenyans. Ours is just to fine tune the document," he said.