Governor Isaac Ruto launches campaign to popularize own party to take on Jubilee
By Nikko Tanui
| January 4th 2016
BOMET: The political rivalry between Deputy President William Ruto and Bomet governor Isaac Ruto is set to go a notch higher after the later launched the campaign to popularize Mashinani Development Party of Kenya (MDPK).
MDPK is also expected to field a candidate in the Kericho senatorial by-election which would be an acid test for the Jubilee Party in the March 7 mini-poll.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and the DP have been at pains to popularise JP as the vehicle they aim to use to consolidate and retain power in the 2017 and future general elections.
The vacancy left after the appointment of Charles Keter to the cabinet is also an opportunity for the Bomet governor to assert himself as the unrivalled south rift political king.
Speaking in Kericho Exotic hotel during a consultative meeting which drew stakeholders from 30 wards in the county as well as former councilors from south rift region, Governor Ruto accused jubilee leaders of taking Kenyans on an endless political circle.
"Jubilee leaders have killed all the parties and they should not attempt to bamboozle Kenyans to join Jubilee Party which they don't know what it is all about and its agenda besides it being a tool to install someone to power," he said.
He added, "We have since decided that we are letting go of the United Republican Party (URP), The National Alliance (TNA) and Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP). Jubilee Party is where we part ways. We are not going to join Jubilee Party. We are now free to form and join new political parties."
Ruto said MDPK was ready and willing to work with other like-minded political parties willing to defend the right of Kenyans to education, medical services, water among other development issues.
"MDP was formed due to frustrations after jubilee government abandoned its 2013 manifesto. We wonder what happened to the 40 per cent revenue allocation to the counties. Bye Jubilee we are not heading to that direction, tunabaki Mashinani," said Ruto.
The governor warned the jubilee's administration that if it would not change tact, the 2017 general election would be a contest between residents at the counties against elites in government.
"The election would determine who are the majority and holds more power between county residents and a few elites in government," said Ruto.
MDPK chairman Socrates Sang said the party's pillar was development in the counties where majority of disfranchised residents reside.
"The country cannot prosper unless there is an equitable sharing of resources. In forming a political party no one should accuse us of playing politics because the constitution states that the country is a multi-party democracy," said Sang.
He at the same time told President Uhuru and the DP to ensure complete devolution of all the functions provided by the constitution by March 7 lest they would no longer have the authority to lead the country.
Ruto argued that the date would mark the end of the transition period and Kenyans expect that the jubilee government to have devolved all the functions and allocate 45 per cent of revenue collection to the counties.
"By March 7, the national government should cease discharging devolved functions and release them to the counties as well as the monies for the functions. The Jubilee leaders must respect the constitution lest they would no longer have the right to continue leading the country," he said.
He also pointed out the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC) term came to an end on December 29 with the country only managing a paltry 30 per cent transition to the current constitution promulgated in 2010.
Ruto therefore argued that if the term of the Charles Nyachae led commission would not be extended, a section of senior commissioners should be appointed to an independent Law Reform Commission.
"If it becomes impossible to extend the commission's term, then a section of the commissioners should be appointed to the Law Reform Commission and it should be given its independence," he said.
Don't dissolve small political partiesThe frantic call by the Jubilee leadership for its allied parties to merge may be a good political strategy for the 2017 elections aimed at consolidating its voter base, but it certainly flies in the face of all constitutional gains so far made in this country.
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