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Senator accuses Ruto of intimidating local leaders

RIFT VALLEY
By Irissheel Shanzu | July 6th 2016
Senator John Lonyangapuo at a past event. He has accused Deputy President William Ruto of insulting him. [PHOTO: KIPSANG JOSEPH/STANDARD]

Senator John Lonyangapuo has accused Deputy President William Ruto of attempts to intimidate local leaders.

Prof Lonyangapuo claimed Mr Ruto insulted him during his visit to the region at the weekend.

Tuesday, the senator said: “West Pokot residents will not vote for Jubilee Alliance Party because the coalition has no members in the region.”

Mr Ruto accused Lonyangapuo of misleading locals over the future of Kanu.

During the event, the DP also received several leaders into Jubilee, including Governor Simon Kachapin (Kanu), Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto (Kanu) and several ODM officials.

However, Lonyangapuo said Kanu remains strong in the region and asked the DP to respect the decision by local leaders to stick with the independence party.

“Kanu, which was registered in 1960, is still alive. And the Jogoo party is still strong. But where is URP? It is already dead and buried. A political party does not make anyone ascend to power. It is one’s ability to deliver that gives him power,” said Lonyangapuo.

Voters’ wrath

The Senator warned that leaders who have ditched Kanu for the new outfit will face the wrath of voters during the 2017 elections.

“I was rated the best performing senator in 2014 at 63 per cent. So how can the senator number one in the country mislead his electorate? Why should the DP insult me before children and women who see me as a role model?” Lonyangapuo posed.

He added: “The Deputy President should allow the people to decide for themselves. He should stop trying to force them to join JAP.”

Lonyangapuo said locals overwhelmingly voted for Jubilee during the last elections and for that, they deserve some respect from the DP.

“He should know that by abusing local leaders, he is also abusing the electorate, who supported Jubilee,” he said.

“Ruto should know he is spoiling President Kenyatta’s votes in this region. We will vote for the President but not Ruto, unless he comes politely.”

On reports he is interested in the governor’s seat, Lonyangapuo only said: “The electorate will decide.” The Deputy President visited the county to popularise the new party.

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