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Ruto in talks with groups over 2022

POLITICS
By Silah Koskei | January 4th 2019

Deputy President William Ruto greets Japheth Bulimo, a University of Eldoret student when he met a delegation of Vihiga County leaders at Sugoi. Deputy President William Ruto welcomes Archbishop John Saiya of African Divine Church to his Sugoi home during a meeting with a delegation of Vihiga County leaders. [Photo: Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has, over the past two weeks, been on a charm offensive to consolidate his grassroots support ahead of the next elections.

Ruto spent his December holidays receiving delegations at his Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu County.

The Standard has established that the DP met  nine delegations of governors, MPs, MCAs and elders from various communities.

Yesterday, Ruto met delegations from Vihiga and Bomet counties.

Ruto's talks with the various groups, The Standard has established, centred on the 2022 General Election.

The DP has also been working hard to ward off controversy on whether central Kenya owes him a political debt.

On Wednesday, Ruto, for the first time, responded to a statement by former Gatanga MP and Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe that central Kenya owes him no debt.

Mixed reactions

This is despite his support for President Kenyatta in 2013 and 2017 elections.

Ruto sought to downplay the statement which has elicited mixed reactions from leaders in central Kenya and Rift Valley.

The DP said: “There is nothing like being endorsed for the top seat. Some people are hanging around waiting for endorsements. How do you expect to be endorsed for this seat? You must work for it.”

During the meetings, sources said, the DP sought to present himself as the front runner in the race to succeed Uhuru amidst hurdles.

On Saturday last week, Ruto met Myoot Council of Elders from Uasin Gishu. The 2022 succession politics dominated talks.

“He was clear nobody should be denied a chance to vie for a seat of their choice or told to step aside for another person. He said everyone is at liberty to express their democratic right because each contestant will eventually have their own supporters. He assured us the race will not split the community,” said one of the elders who attended the meeting.

Moiben MP Silas Tiren has dismissed Ruto's meetings, saying they are not meant to address challenges facing residents of Rift Valley, including maize farmers.

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