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William Ruto still holds sway in Rift Valley politics

By Bethwel Kaino | February 16th 2017

The political showdown that is gaining momentum in the voter-rich Rift Valley region as the August 8 General Election draws nearer will not change numbers in favour of the Opposition.

Jubilee Party, Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) and Kanu are emerging as front-runners, with leaders either defending or seeking various elective posts contemplating how to overcome the storm.

But it is emerging that the majority of voters in the region have much confidence in the Jubilee government of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, despite threats from rival political parties.

The Kalenjin, for example, know well that the unfolding political scenario countrywide places members of the community at an advantage and they have to solidify their votes considering the fact that Mr Ruto is just a step away from the presidency.

Mr Ruto is banking on support from other communities to inherit the President's seat once he completes his two terms in office if Jubilee Party wins the August elections.

This means that the Kalenjin are prepared to unite and put their house in order as they seek support from other communities.

But the move by Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi to oppose the Deputy President's leadership will not deny Jubilee the Rift Valley's swing vote.

It should be clear that throughout retired President Daniel arap Moi's presidency, as much as he enjoyed the political support of the Kalenjins, he also faced stiff resistance from the likes of the late Chelagat Mutai, Bishop Alexander Muge, Taita Towett and Fredrick Cheserek.

But the retired president weathered every storm and his rule lasted 24 years. Mr Moi did not face any competition from the Nandi, Keiyo, Marakwet, Turkana, Samburu, Pokot, Tugen, Marakwet or Sabaot, but from just a few individuals opposed to his leadership.

History is repeating itself and that is what is happening with Ruto's leadership.

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