A group of MPs from Rift Valley who lost during the Jubilee Party primaries have accused Deputy President William Ruto of betraying them at the last minute.
Led by Cherangany MP Wesley Korir, the MPs accused Ruto of presiding over flawed nominations, adding that their supporters did not get the chance to elect candidates of their choice.
Korir said Ruto betrayed incumbents. He said he was misled by Ruto to join Jubilee, only to be dumped during the primaries.
Speaking in Bindura, Trans Nzoia county, Korir likened the Deputy President to the biblical Judas Iscariot.
“In 2013, I joined Parliament as an independent candidate, but there is one Judas Iscariot who kissed me, lied to me and later betrayed and crucified me publicly,” he said.
Korir said residents of Cherangany will get the chance to elect a leader of their choice on August 8.
He lost to State House political adviser Joshua Kuttuny.
Korir is now accusing the Jubilee government of failing Kenyans, especially farmers from the Rift Valley.
“Now that the Jubilee government has imported maize from Mexico at Sh4,000 a bag, we want to ask them to buy maize from farmers at the same price and not Sh3,000 as they have been mistreating us,” he said.
Three MPs from Uasin Gishu and Nandi counties, who refused to be named, said they were close to the DP for five years, but during the primaries, their complaints were ignored.
“Ruto took charge of the Jubilee primaries at the party headquarters and whenever we tried to complain about the flaws during the nominations, we were ignored,” the MP from Nandi said.
During the primaries, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and his Nandi Hills colleague Alfred Keter accused Ruto’s aides of attempting to interfere with the primaries.
The aides – Kibet Farouk and Reuben Maiyo – however, denied meddling in the politics of the region.
Some MPs who lost during the primaries have opted to go quiet and hope they will be given jobs in the government if Jubilee wins.
Early this month, Ruto met some of his allies and aides to resolve a growing row and potential fallout between them over the Jubilee Party primaries in the Rift Valley.
Mandago, Sudi and some of those who won the JP primaries in the North Rift attended the private meeting in Nairobi.
“It’s true we met the DP briefly and all he told us is that he wants peace in Eldoret and that he does not want to hear about tribal politics in the region,” an MP, who declined to be named, said.
Mandago and Sudi declined to comment on the details of the meeting. Sources said Farouk and Maiyo were at the meeting. The meeting took place as Kuttuny said Ruto had handled the Jubilee primaries well and should not be blamed by losers. In a statement, he said the decision by Uhuru to have Ruto take charge of the primaries was well-thought-out.