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Why have Ruto Kalenjin rebel MPs gone silent? – Weekly Citizen

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Though his boss has reportedly shown him the middle finger in running State affairs, deputy president William Ruto is resting easy after regaining total control of the Kalenjin community projected to be his biggest voting bloc in 2022.
The DP raised a storm last week after he was photographed tending to his Sugoi farm in Uasin Gishu county at a time many Kenyans expected him to be assisting Uhuru Kenyatta in containing the deadly corona virus pandemic.
Ruto, however, has been regularly sending tweets urging Kenyans to adhere to government directives stipulated to curb the spread of the disease.
But the DP is now sitting assured after taming the Kalenjin rebels, thereby cementing his position as the community’s kingpin.
Ruto has totally eclipsed Baringo senator Gideon Moi who was wrestling the control of the community from him ahead of the 2022 elections.
Gideon, who was handed former president Daniel arap’s Moi rungu by the family members, has not made inroads in wooing the community to his side.
The latest setback the senator suffered was the removal of Baringo county assembly deputy speaker allied to Kanu, Ameja Zelemoi, who is also Churo/Amaya ward rep.
He was ousted by the majority Jubilee MCAs on allegations of abuse of office.
The ouster motion was sponsored by the assembly’s majority leader Lawi Kipchumba and supported by 36 MCAs out of 45.
It was Mochongoi MCA Kipruto Kimosop who lifted the lid and opened a can of worms when he revealed that the impeachment was meant to send strong signals to Gideon that Baringo is a Jubilee stronghold and Kanu allied politicians from the region should desist from insulting the DP.
Days before the ouster, Gideon was glued to his television watching protests and chaos rock his county when supporters of the deputy president took to the streets to protest calls from a section of MPs for the DP’s resignation.
The protestors trained their blazing guns on Gideon’s ally, Baringo woman representative Gladwell Tungo, who was elected on Kanu ticket and who read a press statement at parliament buildings calling on the deputy president to step aside, claiming he had brought the DP’s office into disrepute as he was linked to multiple scandals.

William Kamket

For now, the deputy president commands total control of the Kalenjin community, the dominant ethnic group in Rift Valley, others being the Maasai, Turkana and Samburu, together forming the Kamatusa.
The Kalenjins are found in West Pokot, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo, Nandi, Kericho and Bomet with pockets of them living in Nakuru and Narok counties.
The deputy president has cut to size rebel politicians who were giving him sleepless nights. They have all gone silent with analysts claiming, the ground is hostile to them.
The rebels include MPs William Kamket (Tiaty, Kanu), Silas Tiren (Moiben, Jubilee), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills, Jubilee) and Joshua Kuttuny (Cherengany, Jubilee).
Other politicians from Rift Valley not seeing eye-to-eye with the deputy president include former ministers Franklin Bett, Henry Kosgey, Sally Kosgei, former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot, Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani, businessmen Zedekiah Bundotich and David Langat.

Cherengany MP Joshua Kutuny

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Of all the leaders, only Kamket and Kuttuny have remained adamant that Ruto will be stopped by all means from ascending to power in 2022.
The Tiaty MP and Kuttuny have been attending the Building Bridges Initiative rallies where the Cherengany MP has been throwing brickbats at the deputy president.
But Kuttuny rarely visits his constituency for fear of being heckled by the residents who are firmly behind the deputy president. Surprisingly, Tiren and Keter have not been spotted in BBI rallies.
Most of the other leaders opposed to Ruto have been giving the BBI rallies a wide berth, preferring to wait on the wings and see which direction the wind will blow.
According to sources, it was Ruto’s firm hold on the Kalenjins that led to cancellation of a BBI rally in Eldoret following a situational report by the National Intelligence Service warning over possible outbreak of violence.
The meeting had been set for March 21 with pundits billing it as the litmus test for the rallies that were defining the political truce between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The NIS document pointed to looming bloody clashes between supporters of Ruto and those of Raila.
Prior to the 2017 polls, the DP consolidated his support base by bringing all his rivals back into the fold as he galvanised support for Jubilee in the vote-rich region.
The Kalenjin rebels were then complaining that Jubilee had not fulfilled key campaign pledges and that Ruto had not used his influence to improve their lives.
They were citing the failure to resettle the Mau Forest evictees, poor payments to maize farmers and the DP’s inaccessibility as grounds for rejecting Jubilee.
The rebels included then Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto and MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Zakayo Cheruiyot (Kuresoi South) and then State House political affairs adviser Joshua Kuttuny.
Kuttuny made an abrupt about-turn and started flying in the same chopper with the deputy president.
He also hosted Ruto in Cherangany constituency before accompanying him to West Pokot ahead of the 2017 campaigns.
But some of the rebels led by Keter revolted against the DP soon after winning their seats in the 2017 polls, a revolt that threatened to crush the DP’s 2022 presidential ambitions.
The rebellion was led by the DP’s former allies who secretly schemed to jump ship from Jubilee while others kept away from his political activities.
The battle against him was fashioned around corruption and allegations that Kalenjin farmers had for the first time since independence been impoverished after the Jubilee administration took over.
The anti-Ruto brigade also accused powerful individuals in the ruling party of importing maize to frustrate local farmers and also thwart the government’s subsidies programme on fertiliser aimed at helping farmers.
The rebels included Buzeki, who at one time was quoted saying people think all Kalenjins are corrupt yet it’s just a few individuals like the deputy president who engage in graft and protecting cartels, thus damaging the name of the community.
It is at this juncture that details emerged of Isaac Ruto and Buzeki finalising a strategy to revamp Chama Cha Mashinani to team up with Gideon’s Kanu to whittle down Ruto’s grip on the vote-rich Rift Valley.
The CCM was also considering talking with ANC’s leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and leaders of other parties to form a new political alliance.
Buzeki, known for a sizeable financial war chest, even lead a 500-strong delegation from the North Rift to a meeting with Rutto and CCM officials.
The meeting took place at the home of the former Bomet county boss after Buzeki publicly denounced Jubilee.
Buzeki and Ruto agreed on a political deal that would see the former governor remain the party leader while Buzeki becomes the secretary general.
The plan was to revamp the party through massive rebranding and recruitment of new members ahead of a face-off with Jubilee in 2022.
The plan had the backing of three sitting governors, six MPs and five senators in the region along with Langat, a Mombasa-based tycoon from North Rift.
The key backers of the plan included Elgeyo-Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos who had ditched Jubilee in favour of Kanu.
For his part, the vocal Uasin Gishu governor Jackson Mandago had retreated from Ruto’s activities waiting to see which direction the wind was blowing.
Others waiting to see the wind’s direction were Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar, woman representative Gladys Shollei, Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut and Kesses MP Swarrup Mishra. Shollei has since joined the DP rallies.
Ruto’s rural MP Janet Koech (independent) had remained aloof in local politics but the Jubilee candidate, Kevin Okwara jumped ship from the party blaming the DP and his allies for snatching his victory just because he was not from the area.
Soy MP Caleb Kositany, Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Ruto’s powerful aide Farouk Kibet are fully behind Ruto.
It was Kuttuny who revealed that the revolt was real and unstoppable, saying the DP had been losing his trusted political allies who were replaced by sycophants who only chase their personal interests.
Kuttuny, along with Keter and Tiren, kicked off a storm when they demanded that the DP be investigated for alleged involvement in graft.
But Ruto’s allies moved swiftly to de-whip the rebels from House committees only for the High Court to save them by reinstating them.
Tiren, Keter, Marakwet East MP Kangongo Bowen and Alex Kosgey of Emgwen had been recalled from House committees for allegedly colluding with National Super Alliance lawmakers to contest committee leadership, disregarding their party’s leadership.
Keter and Tiren were elected chairpersons of the Labour and Social Welfare and Agriculture committees respectively.
Keter defeated Ali Wario of Bura, who had been preferred by Ruto while Kangogo defeated Sophia Abdi of Ijara to become chairman of the Environment committee. The deputy president had endorsed Abdi.
Kosgey had unsuccessfully challenged Kieni MP Kanini Kega as chairman of the committee on trade.
The rebels further breathed a sigh of relief when the Court of Appeal reinstated them as MPs after losing petitions lodged against them at the High Court.
In what was interpreted as a blow to the deputy president, Kangongo was reinstated as MP by the Court of Appeal days after Justice Kanyi Kimondo of the High Court nullified his victory following a petition launched by a voter, Sammy Kemboi.
Days later, Keter survived at the Supreme Court after it dismissed a petition filed by his competitor, Bernard Kitur to nullify his win.
But for now Keter, Kangogo,Tiren and Buzeki, among other anti-Ruto forces have taken a low profile, raising speculations they could be planning to rejoin the DP’s camp. Only time will tell.

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Waiguru impeachment takes shape finally – Weekly Citizen

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Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru is staring at impeachment after the Jubilee party’s attempt to scare some MCAs to denounce her ouster motion flopped. The seven nominated MCAs who had been summoned to the governor’s residence in Kangaru stormed out of the meeting convened to discuss the pending impeachment motion against her.

Karanja Kibicho

They claimed they were being coerced to sign a petition withdrawing their signatures in support of the motion which has given the governor sleepless nights. They had been summoned to the meeting by Kirinyaga Jubilee branch where they were ordered to withdraw their support of the motion on the strength it has not been sanctioned by the party headquarters. The legislators claimed the meeting was characterized by threats and intimidation by senior Jubilee officials and the county boss.

David Wangui

They added that after five hours of pull and push, the Jubilee officials unveiled a paper and demanded they append their signatures against their names to denounce the motion tabled by Mutira ward MCA David Wangui. The Jubilee Kirinyaga branch chairman Muriithi Kangara warned them they would lose their salaries and later their nomination, would they be cancelled but the legislators stood firm and told him the motion has weighty allegations which should be ventilated through the debate. Two nominated MCAs had skipped the meeting. The MCAs accuse Waiguru of leading a criminal enterprise aimed at defrauding county coffers by paying millions of shillings to fictitious companies. Early last month, Jubilee party secretary-general Raphael Tuju warned the elected and nominated MCAs against participating in the ouster motion.

Raphael Tuju

In a letter addressed to the majority chief whip in the assembly, Tuju said Jubilee took great exception in the scheme that was only meant to derail the party’s agenda in the county. He told the MCAs that all internal party resolution of disputes must be exhausted before such a motion is brought to the assembly which is controlled by Jubilee. Thirty MCAs out of 33 signed the motion, according to Wangui. Days later the majority leader Kamau Murango was fired by Tuju for allegedly undermining Waiguru.

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Caleb Kositany

But some MCAs lashed out at Tuju saying he has no powers to sack Murango. Days later the party’s internal woes deepened after a letter by the ruling party’s deputy secretary-general Caleb Kositany surfaced. The letter dated April 27, nullified Tuju’s move to dismiss Murango as majority leader. Kositany went ahead to implore the assembly to ignore Tuju’s dismissal letter, reaffirming that Murango is still the duly elected majority leader of the assembly. The motion of removal of the governor was moved by Wangui in a sitting that was attended by all the 33 members of the county assembly on April 1.

James Murango

However, the High Court, on April 7, suspended impeachment proceedings, citing effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But as Waiguru stares at impeachment, Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho who is eyeing the seat has intensified his forays in the region. On the day the seven MCAs were showing Waiguru their back, the PS was in Mwea constituency inspecting government development projects. Waiguru had earlier endeared herself to Uhuru Kenyatta when she backed the ruling party’s move to crack the whip on supposed wayward members. Speaking at Kithiriti Primary School in Nyangati ward where she distributed relief food, the governor said there was no way a member who opted to go against the party constitution would be spared.

Peter Ndambiri

She also defended the party against claims it was intimidating some of the members who are facing the disciplinary committee. In reference to the trouble she is facing, the governor said the party should take stern action against Jubilee nominated MCAs who are not supportive of the party agenda in their counties since they only serve to advance their interests and not of the party which nominated them. The governor has also fallen out with her deputy Peter Ndambiri. The fallout escalated when their supporters clashed, a day after a motion to impeach the county boss was filed in the county assembly.

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Is Kalonzo goofing politically again? – Weekly Citizen

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Kalonzo Musyoka, the former VP to Mwai Kibaki and longstanding minister in the government of Daniel Moi is legendarily known for his penchant to sleep too long on a decision and when he finally makes it, makes it so late that it does not serve the purpose it would have served had he beaten the iron when it was hot, figuratively speaking. What Kalonzo should have done in 2012, he did last week a whole eight years too late. To the utter dismay of those who in 2012 and 2017 pleaded with Kalonzo to ditch Raila Odinga and hitch his horses with Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, Kalonzo announced last week, two short years to end of Uhuru’s two terms that he would now join Uhuru. Because of waiting too long, those who have always wanted Kalonzo working with Uhuru and Ruto from day one say, Kalonzo has sold himself at throwaway price having become damaged goods of no political value.

Enoch Wambua

Had he made the move when the time was right and he was fresh goods, Kambas say, Kalonzo would have bargained for any position in the government apart of course from the post of president and deputy president slots Uhuru and Ruto had already designated for themselves. As it is, however, Kalonzo is getting into the government when all the positions including that of all messengers and sweepers have been filled by Uhuru and Ruto people. If Kalonzo was to get any position as a reward for his backing of the government that Uhuru does not consider too valuable but for the optics, it would mean that there would have to be some real big shots chopped at the top to clear space for him. Kamba tycoon Peter Muthoka, the man who has elbowed out former senator Johnson Muthama from Kalonzo inner core is the man behind Kalonzo moves. Kitui Senator Enock Wambua also being instrumental.

Peter Muthoka

There are however those who say that Kalonzo is cashing in financially as Uhuru is paying him to have his Wiper MPs back Uhuru against his deputy. It is not clear how much Kalonzo is pocketing to auction his party weight in parliament but some rumours have it is pegged on the number of MPs he can whip to dance to Uhuru’s tune in parliament. It is against this background that some MPs have reportedly expressed their objections to the deal saying that they must get a cut of the deal or else they will not toe the Wiper line saying that matters in parliament are beyond Kalonzo’s control. There is however fear amongst some legislators especially those who are holding parliamentary house committees that they will be taken the route of Kipchumba Murkomen and Kindiki Kithure. What puzzled many more however being Kalonzo’s assertion that the deal with Uhuru “does not break our agreement under Nasa”.

Johnston Muthama

Such remarks, a long time Kalonzo ally who did not want to be named said, point to a man in dreamland who should be rudely woken up by splashing ice-cold water on his face. The agreement with Raila in Nasa, the ally told Kalonzo is probably somewhere in the Ruai sewer having been used as toilet paper at Capital Hill. If Raila has not honoured any agreement written or verbal all his life, the man who has been one of the most vocal Kalonzo supporters even going physical on those who oppose Kalonzo in Ukambani, the last agreement being merely three years ago, asked how and why would Raila would the agreement this time around. Even if Raila walked the road to Damascus a million times, he told Kalonzo, he would never undergo any transformation, not even skin shallow. But it is not the timing of the deal that is troubling Kambas. In any case, many know that it is inconsequential as far as goodies to Ukambani goes.

Philip Kaloki

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What is gravely concerning Kambas is that after eight years in the opposition, Kambas are once again poised to spend yet another five years in the opposition should Kalonzo throw his lot with the formation that Uhuru is trying to cobble up. With all indications pointing to the most likely probability of Ruto winning the presidency in 2022, Kambas are now seriously considering the possibility of having a tribal pointman other than Kalonzo to take the community to the high table of political power bargaining with the eyes firmly fixed to Ruto’s direction. Although others say that Kalonzo is taking sides with Uhuru in the hope that Uhuru could just say Kalonzo tosha, there are those of the view that Kalonzo is overstretching his hopes. To start with, Uhuru backyard that Uhuru would purport to have file behind Kalonzo is unflinchingly stuck to Ruto.

Mumo Matemu

Indeed, Ruto is more welcome in Central than Uhuru who fearing being snubbed at best and heckled at worst has not been to his own backyard more than 10 times since he was elected and when he does it, he flies as opposed to driving. But if Kalonzo has no chance of bagging the Central vote, Raila zero chance of getting it. It is still fresh in the minds of Central people that only two years ago Raila was declaring total economic annihilation on them with his resist movement that had his followers boycott all businesses, services and goods associated with Jubilee. It is still beyond fathoming to many of them that Uhuru who three years ago traversed the length and breadth of Central pleading with them to rescue him from this mad man chocking his neck is now heaping praises to the mundu muguruki of yesterday.

Ezekiel Mutua

And even if Kalonzo was eyeing any other post other than the presidency, in the Uhuru-Raila axis, he would have to contend with the number four office because the first three are preserved for Uhuru, Raila and Gideon Moi. There are even those who say that Raila will certainly bolt out of the grouping because it is Gideon who is slated to get the biggest seat. On the other hand, if Kalonzo went to Ruto, he would be either number two or three assuming that Musalia Mudavadi was in that alliance. This although there are others who say that Ruto will have to designate a Kikuyu his number two or three for the votes that Kikuyus are going to give him. It is worth noting that the announcement by Kalonzo has not caused a buzz in Ukambani were even barefoot villagers feel like they have a better pulse of the national politics than Kalonzo.

Geoffrey Muluvi

It was only a bunch of Nairobi-based rent-seekers calling themselves Kamba professionals led by Daniel Yumbya who backed the move by the Wiper leader.The so-called professionals were however universally dismissed across Kambaland with Kambas wondering who gave the charlatans the authority to say they were the voice of Kambas when some of them cannot even speak for their wives let alone their villages. Except for Philip Kaloki, the rest, according to their relatives and village mates would not even give a glass of water to a starving neighbour as they belong to the crop of Kambas that is imbued with what Kambas call kiima or ill-will. They included Geoffrey Muluvi, Mumo Matemu, Timothy King’ondu, Julius Kyambi, John Mwendwa, Ezekiel Mutua and Daniel Kombo. Incidentally, all of them except two are professors yet none of them has authored even a nursery school book.

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Wetang’ula, Wangamati marriage on the rocks? – Weekly Citizen

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Many events have unfolded in Bungoma county with all the indications revealing that the once vibrant marriage between Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Senator Moses Wetang’ula might be reading from different scripts. Whereas Wetang’ula is Wangamati’s Ford Kenya party leader, things have not been rosy for the two politicians. Political pundits state that apart from being the governor’s party leader, Wetang’ula is also the senator who oversights the county to ensure that all the funds channeled to the devolved unit is accounted for. That is the reason Wetang’ula has been on the forefront tackling Wangamati to explain how funds meant for specific projects have been utilized.

Moses Wetang’ula

Of late, Wetang’ula has been on the forefront asking Ethics and AntiCorruption Commission officers to investigate some of the senior county officials on what they understand about the expensive jerrycans scandal. The money borrowed from Bungoma County Referral Hospital was meant to purchase sanitary items to fight global pandemic Covid-19 but word has it that the Sh6.9 million was divided among the top county officials including the disaster management committee members. “I’m told that the county officials went on a looting spree by purchasing 600, 20 litre jerrycans at Sh10,000 each.

Bungoma governor Wycliffe Wangamati

This is pure theft, and I’m asking EACC sleuths to jump with speed and investigate the matter with the urgency it deserves,” said Wetang’ula. He stated that all the appropriated funds should be utilized accordingly and accounted for so that it benefits the locals in terms of development. Last week, word had it that Wangamati and other county officials had been summoned to EACC headquarters in Nairobi to shed light on what they knew about the jerrycans saga.

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Alfred Sambu

Such issues as brought about by the bad blood between Wetang’ula and Wangamati, with their supporters trading insults on social media, gives the senator a plus in questioning the anomaly.A source at MP Alfred Sambu’s office said they were disgusted with the scam. Two weeks ago, Nasa coalition members in the county assembly allegedly allied to senator Wetang’ula executed a coup which saw all Wangamati’s friendly MCAs shown the door and kicked out of key House committees.

Joseph Nyongesa

Maeni MCA, Florence Wekesa, was knocked out as the majority leader and replaced by Tuuti/Marakaru MCA Joseph Nyongesa. He was then deputized by Tongaren MCA Elizabeth Tindi. The majority chief whip was also awarded to a close ally of Meshack Museveni of Mukuyuni Ward while Malakisi/South Kulisiru MCA Evelyn Mutyembu was knocked out. Also to be stripped from his position as the deputy majority whip was a nominated Ford Kenya MCA Luke Opwora who was replaced by his longtime rival Joseph Maguda of township ward.

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