The appointment of the next Inspector General of Police is expected to rekindle bad blood between the governing Jubilee partners after MPs from Rift Valley warned they would walk out of the coalition should the region be overlooked.
The disgruntlement over Kimaiyo has echoes of the row generated by Standard Gauge Railway tendering bids and the tiff over sacking of former National Youth Service director Kiplimo Rugut.
Immediately, Kimaiyo announced his retirement, there was talk that he had been compelled to step down. The retirement was triggered by a spate of terror attacks, which in turn piled pressure on him to resign or President Uhuru Kenyatta shows him the door. However, the Constitution mechanism for his impeachment is long and tedious compared to the shorter option of retiring.
In a recent thanksgiving in Turbo, Uasin Gishu County, MPs from Elgeyo Marakwet, where Kimaiyo comes from, were conspicuously missing as other URP and TNA legislators turned up to show support for Deputy President William Ruto who is still facing charges at the ICC.
Apart from Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South), other legislators including Elgeyo Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos skipped the function.
One MP from the region who spoke to us, but declined to be identified, said the leaders snubbed the meeting because of their disappointment following Kimaiyoâ€™s ouster.
â€œThey did not turn up not because they didnâ€™t want to but because they wanted to send a message that it is not business as usual,â€ he said.
Some leaders from the North Rift, specifically leaders from Elgeyo Marakwet, have termed Kimaiyoâ€™s removal as a public relations stunt. They now want the President to make a â€˜direct replacementâ€™.
The MPs William Kisang (Marakwet West), Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Dr James Murgor (Keiyo North), Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South) and Dr Susan Chebet (Woman Rep) are on record saying Kimaiyo was â€˜forcedâ€™ to retire.
They argue the county has already missed out on top positions in Government including that of Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries and losing the IG position was a blow.
â€œWhereas other leaders are insisting that a replacement must come from the region, we are insisting the appointment of the next IG has to be a direct replacement. It must be known that we voted for the Jubilee government 99 per cent,â€ Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos said.
Tolgos accused a senator from Rift Valley of pushing the removal of Kimaiyo. â€œItâ€™s not an external war. We will continue fighting from within. We are fighting one of our own who purports to be part of a kitchen cabinet and who is fighting our people.â€
In an earlier interview with The Standard on Saturday, Mr Kangogo said: â€œWe know runaway in security was associated with terrorism resulting from external aggression, and therefore it was the work of the Kenya Defence Forces whose head, Julius Karangi, was spared the axe.â€
But Murkomen, unlike his counterparts, argues that the replacement of Kimaiyo has to meet constitutional provisions including proven experience and ability to perform.
In his opinion, the same process and merit that led to the appointment of Kimaiyo must be followed in the appointment of the new IG.
â€œWe want the best for the country in terms of security and the best candidate must win irrespective of where he or she comes from. After all nobody favoured Kimaiyo. He was qualified,â€ said Murkomen.
â€œElgeyo Marakwet is not asking for a favour. We are part of the Government and if there is anyone who is qualified he or she will get the job. We must continue with the desire to keep excellence. We are not seeking anything less,â€ he added.
His sentiments are shared by Mr Kiptanui who said they will support the President regardless of who he appoints.
This is not the first time Rift Valley leaders have expressed displeasure over key appointments in Jubilee that they maintain was ideally formed under a 50-50 power sharing agreement.
Allegations that Rugut was relieved of his duties via a text message drew the ire the MPs even though the Government denied the allegations.
Political analysts argue URP will be demanding a direct replacement even it means resorting to a headhunt.
â€œThe fact of the matter is that URP and TNA are in a coalition and URP will therefore be demanding that since that position was held by one of their own, they will need a Kalenjin as a replacement. This will help in avoiding a backlash from the partyâ€™s backyard,â€ Dr Adams Oloo, a political analyst says.