Politics of 2022 and social and economic empowerment are at the centre of the initiative by a group of Kalenjin leaders that is now causing jitters in the Rift Valley region.
The group led by Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny, former ministers Henry Kosgey and Franklin Bett and Kalenjin Council of Elders chairman Major Rtd John Seii is said to be targeting to forge a common ground for the future of the community, including the 2022 General Election.
In their first private meeting on Wednesday at Biblica in Nairobi, the leaders, including the African Inland Church (AIC) Archbishop Silas Yego, agreed there was need for the region’s unity of purpose for it to achieve a meaningful socio-economic and political milestones.
Immediately after the meeting, Kosgey, who was seen for the first time in a political forum since the Jubilee nominations last year, told the Saturday Standard that the meeting was a private one and it was too early to share the details.
He however said there would be more talks in the near future.
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“We do not have much to share now, these are the initial stages of our talks,” said the former Industrialisation Minister and Tinderet MP.
Bett said the community needs to dialogue if it was to have a common voice and shape its future.
“As elders in the Kalenjin land, we feel that we need to have a dialogue within ourselves for the betterment of our community and the country at large,” said the former Roads Minister.
The subject of 2022 polls has been a sensitive matter in Rift Valley. Deputy President William Ruto has overtly indicated that he will not take any chances to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has also indicated his name will be on the ballot and has lately been meeting leaders across the country to build alliances.
Given the sensitivity of the matter, a day after the meeting, Ruto met Bett at his official residence in Karen and later Kosgey in his Harambee House Annex office.
It is not clear what was separately discussed between Ruto and the two former ministers. It is however believed the Deputy President would have wanted to understand what the initiative led by Kuttuny and the leaders was up to.
Last week, Kuttuny warned that a silent revolution was building on the political ground occasioned by public outbursts.
He had earlier warned that a revolution against the political class in the Kalenjin land was likely to undermine Ruto’s quest to become president.
Kuttuny’s statement was occasioned by a meeting in Eldoret two weeks ago where farmers booed some local leaders whom they accused of being part of the problem in the recent maize saga.
The irate farmers and traders shouted down a group of MPs, led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Soy MP Caleb Kositany and his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi.
The meeting to protest against delayed payments by the NCPB was addressed by Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Silas Tiren (Moiben) who accused their counterparts of not doing enough to champion farmers’ plight.
Any yesterday, Kuttuny said the infighting among Kalenjin leaders has a negative impact on the community’s plans to produce a president in 2022. He said the talks aim to accommodate the dissenting voices.