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Why DP Ruto’s allies are running into Raila’s arms

By Standard Team | Jun 11th 2020 | 4 min read

ODM party leader Raila Odinga (centre) when he hosted Laikipia North MP Sarah Korere (right) and Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina at his Nairobi office yesterday. [Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has begun recovering his lost ground in Central with ODM leader Raila Odinga doing the bidding for him.

When Catherine Waruguru, the Laikipia Woman Representative, walked into Raila’s Capitol Hill office on Tuesday, it seams she was opening the door for other members of Deputy President William Ruto’s Tanga Tanga brigade in Central.

Yesterday, Sarah Korere, the Laikipia North MP, also a Ruto supporter, walked into into Capitol Hill alongside Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina to pledge allegiance to the Raila-Uhuru power axis.

Just like Waruguru, Korere has in the past dismissed Raila as a politically infertile personality who should make way for more virile politicians such as Ruto. As the three moved to Kenyatta’s corner, those who had been sitting on the fence, including North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood also switched to Kenyatta side.

“I am no longer in the middle ground but firmly in Uhuru’s corner. There are clear signs that we no longer have to sit in the middle on those matters,” Dawood said, adding many others would move.

In the whole of Mt Kenya, most of Kenyatta’s support is in Murang’a where MPs who support him outnumber Ruto’s, even though by a small margin. Kenyatta’s supporters are County MP Sabina Chege, Muturi Kigano (Kangema), Peter Kimari (Mathioya), Nduati Ngugi (Gatanga), Ruth Mwaniki (Kigumo) and Mary Wamaua (Maragua), who crossed to his side recently.

Ndindi Nyoro and Kandara’s Alice Wahome remain firmly with the DP and are among these that the party is seeking to kick out of House committees.

In Kiambu, the president can count on most MPs save for Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Moses Kuria (Gatundu North), Gabriel Kago (Githunguri) and Ruiru’s Simon King’ara. In Nyeri, he has Ngunjiri Wambugu (Nyeri Town) and Kanini Kega (Kieni).

In Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Nyandarua, Embu, Nakuru and Tharaka Nithi all legislators were previously allied to the DP.

In Nairobi, where Jubilee has nine MPs, Uhuru allies are Maina Kamanda (nominated) and Mercy Gakuya (Kasarani).

In Meru, the president has Igembe North’s Maoka Maore while Dawood, Murungi Kathuri (South Imenti), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South) and Moses Kirima ( Central Imenti) have previously been on middle ground.

As for senators, Kenyatta has had the upper hand with Kiambu’s Paul Wamatangi, Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a), Isaac Mwaura (nominated), Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga), Mwangi Githiomi (Nyandarua), Evans Sakaja (Nairobi), Ephrahim Maina (Nyeri), Njeru Ndwiga (Embu) and Beth Mugo (nominated) in his corner against Ruto’s allies Mithika Linturi (Meru), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi), John Kinyua (Laikipia), Susan Kihika (Nakuru)

“We will get all these fellows behind the president in a matter of days. It is no longer a question of if but when. Some of them are beginning to confess how they were misled but we have no problem allowing them back into the fold,” Kang’ata said.

Nyoro admits Waruguru move caught them by surprise. “In politics, people are driven by choices and interests. As allies of Ruto, we wish Waruguru well in her new journey. She was among the vibrant leaders we relied upon and we hope she will soon come back as she will not fit in Kieleweke team,” he said. 

Nyoro added that Waruguru is a strong leader who fights for the interests of her people. He added she has every right to defect to a camp of her choice. “We remain intact in our crusade to form the next government.”

Mr Linturi described the visits to the ODM leader as desperate attempts intended to create a political perception against the reality.

“Dr Ruto remains the clear front runner in the 2022 race and will not be shaken by a few people leaving his camp simply because his support is in the population and not by some few point men,” Linturi said.

He dismissed as “fabricated” insinuations on social media that he had also visited Capitol Hill offices of Odinga saying he harboured no such dream. “Some people are hoping that one day, a leader will stop to take a call of nature in Upper Hill and be reported to have moved political camps,” Linturi said.

Some Ruto allies, including Ichung’wa, have lately been silent in the wake of the ongoing purge in Jubilee.

 [Fidelis Kabunyi, Wainaina Ndung’u and Boniface Gikandi]

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