Kalenjin Unity: DP Ruto asks former Bomet governor to accept govt Post

Former Governor Isaac Rutto address the press shortly after the meeting at his Chepalungu home. /Felix Kipkemoi

Rift Valley leaders have reached out to former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto to accept a Government appointment. The leaders, who yesterday pitched tent at the former governor’s home in Chepalungu, made it known that they wanted him to be part of the Jubilee administration for the sake of unity.

“The Government of Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto wants him to join them. This was the message we brought to him,” said a governor who attended the closed-door meeting. The high-powered delegation, which included top DP aide Farouk Kibet, four governors, a senator and an MP, also gave an indication of a new twist in the search for Kalenjin unity.

The leaders termed their meeting an attempt to forge a common ground for the community for the sake of unity and development.

Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), John Lonyagapuo (West Pokot), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho) and Samwel Tunai (Narok) led the efforts to reach out to Ruto to work with the Government. The leaders who attended the talks included Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Chepalungu MP Gideon Koskei and 11 members of the local county assembly.

The leaders held a close-door meeting with the former governor before addressing Chama Cha Mashinani delegates. Mandago told the delegates Jubilee was reaching out to the former governor to work with Jubilee.

“I have personally talked to both the President and his deputy on the intention to bring the former governor on board and our presence here today is to appeal to Ruto to be part us,” Mandago told the CCM delegates.

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He described Ruto as a national leader who was beyond local politics “and we want him to be part of Government so that we can utilise his experience and understanding of issues”. Mandago said during Ruto’s stint at the Council of Governors, he displayed good leadership skills.

“Even the current crop of governors agree that what he was pushing was right and we want to tap into his ability,” Mandago added. Mr Tunai hailed Ruto for his peace efforts in border constituencies in Narok. “I know his ability and how he has played a key role in holding together communities living in border of constituencies in Narok and Kisii,” Tunai said.

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The West Pokot Governor said Ruto was a key figure whose previous works cut across the Rift Valley. Prof Lonyangapuo said the former governor’s ability should be tapped by the Government. He said they also brainstormed on a way they could have all parties in Rift Valley work together for the common good of the populace.

The Kericho governor said Ruto must be brought on board by the Jubilee government. Speaking after the leaders left his compound, Ruto only said the meeting solely dwelt on the unity of the Kalenjin community and development of the Rift Valley region.

Ruto said there was nothing political, adding that the leaders had just made their intention of having all parties in Rift Valley work together known.

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