Gusii legislators allied to Deputy President William Ruto are putting on a brave face in the wake of differences between the DP and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
They claim their support for Dr Ruto was still steadfast even as others develop cold feet in aiding the DP in the quest to create a support base in the region.
Ruto enjoyed the support of majority MPs in Kisii and Nyamira counties after the 2017 General Election.
The legislators allied to Ruto spent a better part of 2018 and 2019 traversing the region, sometimes in the presence of the DP, conducting fundraisers for various churches, women groups and boda boda operators.
However, at the moment, the DP can only count on around five out of 15 elected MPs in the two counties after most of them withdrew their support for the Tangatanga wing of Jubilee group by the end of 2019.
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South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro, however, said he believed Ruto will be elected the next president in 2022 and that he was being fought since his opponents have discovered that he is the candidate to beat.
Mr Osoro said he was strongly in Ruto’s camp and that Senators Kithure Kindiki and Kipchumba Murkomen were removed as deputy speaker and Majority leader respectively for being close allies of Ruto, and not because of any wrongdoing.
“This is a passing cloud which was expected; let the president enjoy his tenure in office and remove every obstacle in his way. Let us hope that the Big Four agenda will be achieved now that some leaders have been kicked from their positions,” said Osoro.
North Mugirango MP Joash Nyamoko, who has been associated with Ruto, told Sunday Standard that as a Jubilee Party member, he supported the president and his deputy and ensured they got votes in Kisii and Nyamira in 2017.
“The perceived political differences between the president and his deputy are non-issues to me. I respect the two of them 100 per cent since they are senior members of our party and will support them until the end of their term in 2022,” said Nyamoko.
Mr Nyamoko, who is also the chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Broadcasting, said the president had not come out openly to say that he had differed with his deputy and neither had Ruto said he had parted ways with Uhuru.
Bomachoge Chache MP Alpha Miruka, who is a close ally of the DP, said he was watching the unfolding political scenario in the country keenly and that he was not in a position to make any comments about his political future at the moment.
Gusii Consultative Forum Secretary General and 2017 NASA chief campaigner in Kisii Lucas Mogoa observed that the current political storm in the country was just a normal process that any serious politician could undergo.
The 2017 Bobasi parliamentary seat contender and a close Ruto ally said the greatest fear among other presidential candidates was Ruto’s increasing number of followers across the country, which showed he could easily win the contest.
“Those leaving Ruto’s camp have cases in court that they imagine will be solved by supporting the Government. 2022 will be a major turning point for Kenya’s social, economic and political forecast,” said Mogoa.
Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, who is a staunch Ruto supporter, is also weighing his options on his next political course, maintaining that he will feature prominently in the 2022 political contest.
In a past interview with The Standard, Maangi said the idea that the system can determine who becomes a leader was long gone with clear examples in both national and local politics in the past two decades.