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We have Uhuru blessing on rallies, says governor

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos addresses the press in Eldoret yesterday. [Peter Ochieng', Standard]

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has warned politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto against interrupting unity meetings in the region.

Mr Tolgos, who was recently appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to coordinate Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meetings in Rift Valley, told MPs who are behind Tangatanga to exercise decorum to stop being ejected from rallies.

“They should behave well in BBI meetings. They should stop storming our meetings when chief guests have arrived and causing drama when they miss seats. Even if those of us (who support the president and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga) were to attend their meetings, we would be there early like everyone else,” Tolgos said.

The governor was speaking yesterday during a meeting with grassroots leaders in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County.

He told the Tangatanga group led by Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen to respect his role as BBI coordinator and stop issuing threats on how meetings should be organised in the region.

Governor warned

Tolgos’ warning comes barely two weeks after Ruto allies, led by Soy MP Caleb Kositany and his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi, warned the governor against holding BBI meetings in Uasin Gishu.

“Uasin Gishu County is not short of leaders. Tolgos has no capacity to hold any meetings anywhere in the county. Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet have a boundary and that boundary must be respected,” said Mr Kositany.

Mr Sudi, a fierce defender of the DP, had told Tolgos to focus on fixing problems affecting the people of Elgeyo Marakwet instead of engaging in BBI-related activities.

But Tolgos said members who supported the unity pact between Uhuru and Raila had a right to organise and hold meetings anywhere across the country.

“Those threatening us must know that we are not meeting in Eldoret to discuss the DP. We were appointed by the president and Raila to unite all leaders.”

A BBI meeting had been scheduled to take place in Eldoret in the second week of February but Tolgos confirmed that only one meeting will be held in Nakuru on February 23.

He said the planned Eldoret meeting will be rescheduled after a regional leaders’ meeting set for next week.

Moiben MP Silas Tiren warned the Tangatanga team against any attempts to sabotage BBI meetings in the Rift Valley.

Mr Tiren claimed it was not the first time that leaders allied to the DP had attempted to sabotage meetings aimed at championing the interests of residents.

“The whole country is moving towards building a bridge. Some of us are already crossing the bridge and those who are not ready to cross can continue waiting on the other side of the river. What we don’t want is for our people to be left behind in the BBI journey,” the MP said.

He continued: “We had been stopped from holding meetings to champion the interests of maize farmers. We have all seen the results as farmers are now enjoying better maize prices.”

Tiren said he would support a change of leadership in House committees when Parliament resumes next week. “There is no way that leaders who are not standing with the president are leading government business. It is either you are working with the government or not.”

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021