By Moses Tongoi Kandie
As Deputy President William Ruto retreated to his Sugoi home for the weekend after the Mashujaa Day celebrations at Machakos, what is supposed to be three days of relaxation is turning out to be a walk into a hostile political minefield that has potential to ruin Jubilee plans for 2017.
Aside from the rebellion started by Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto in the South Rift that has seen the DP avoid visiting the area, the entire region has seemingly abandoned the Jubilee party for Rutto’s Chama Cha Mashinani rumoured to be warming to CORD’S national super alliance.
The controversial appointment of the Moi University acting Vice Chancellor Prof Laban Ayiro that was strongly resisted by a section of leaders from the North Rift, among them Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and his Elgeyo-Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos, has given birth to an axis opposed to DP Ruto.
Mandago and Tolgos are opposed to the DP’s increasing nepotism in state appointments as Ayiro is related to the DP through marriage. The DP’s attempt to tame Mandago through the NCIC backfired when Mandago was given a mammoth hero’s welcome in Eldoret town on return from Nairobi where he had gone to honour summons from the cohesion commission.
This was after Mandago and Tolgos stormed the university demanding that Prof Isaac Kosgey, whom they said was first in the interviews, be given the job.
In a desperate attempt to stay politically afloat DP Ruto has decided to sponsor several allies to run gubernatorial races in Kalenjin counties starting with Edward Serem in Uasin Gishu. In Nandi, the DP has ropped in retired ODM Chairman Henry Kosgey to run for Governor.
But peehaps the biggest of DP’s worries are in Bomet county where Gov. Ruto has gone ahead and formed a party to rival Jubilee. It is in Bomet where anti-DP Ruto leaflefts have circulating after residents got wind of a clandestine Bomet meeting being organised by DP Ruto to identify a Jubilee team that will tame Gov Ruto in the run up to the 2017 polls. The atmosphere is so hostile that the DP has yet to visit Bomet and neighbouring Narok counties in months now.
It remains to be seen how the DP will stem rising disent in Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties both of which are clearly chatting a new political cause outside the Jubilee Party.