Deputy President William Ruto Monday met with 30 MCAs hours after a governor snubbed his tour in Taita Taveta, setting the stage for a potential showdown.
On Sunday, Governor Granton Samboja, who was elected on a Wiper ticket but changed allegiance to the ruling Jubilee Party, snubbed DP Ruto’s tour of his backyard in unclear circumstances.
Ruto began his coastal tour on Thursday, just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta wound up his visit at the coast.
Starting in Tana River County, area governor Dhadho Godhana failed to show up at the function with DP Ruto having to preside over the occasion with only Bura MP, Ali Wario, and two other MPs from outside the region.
It is, however, the decision by Samboja that is seen to have resulted in the deputy president having to organize a crash meeting with over 30 MCAs from the county Monday.
Ruto is said to have discussed the issues surrounding devolution and the decision by Samboja to dissolve Taita Taveta County citing frustrations from his MCAs.
Taita Taveta MCAs refused to sign budget estimates by the government, resulting in a deadlock in which Samboja called for the dissolution of the county.
“I have today decided, in accordance to the constitution, to call all county residents to petition President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve the county of Taita Taveta to give us a fresh start,” stated Samboja at the time.
Revealing the details of one of the agenda with the MCAs on Monday, DP Ruto stated, “All leaders must work together to strengthen devolution; play integral roles in development and offer solutions, dissolving county governments is not one of them.”
In the mega event in which DP Ruto fundraised for 40 churches in the county, Governor Samboja opted to steer clear, casting doubts on where his allegiance lies.
In the meeting, only area MPs Jones Mlolwa (Voi), Danson Mwashako (Wundanyi), Lydia Haika (Woman Rep) were present. A number of MCAs also attended the function.
But it is not only these two coastal towns where DP Ruto seemed to have lost a critical following. His key South-Coast ally, Kwale Governor, Salim Mvurya, also snubbed his event with sources close to him revealing he was excluded from the event’s planning.
In his Kwale County tour, DP Ruto was reportedly invited by his point-man, Khatib Mwashetani- Lunga Lunga MP, who is also eyeing the gubernatorial seat in 2022.
Mvurya endorsed his Deputy, Fatuma Achani, for the seat in 2022, and sources say that his attending of the functions commissioned by Mwashetani would be tantamount to endorsing the Lunga Lunga MP.