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Friday, August 18, 2017

Political discord threatening Kalenjins unity, elders warn amid campaigns

Members of the Kalenjin Council of Elders during their meeting in Nakuru town, June 27, 2017/AMOS KERICH
Members of the Kalenjin Council of Elders during their meeting in Nakuru town, June 27, 2017/AMOS KERICH

Several Kalenjin elders have warned that political disintegration is threatening the community's unity.

They raised their concerns during a meeting in Nakuru town on Saturday, when they asked politicians to put the people's interests first.

The elders noted Kalenjins were united when Daniel arap Moi was president.

"It is unfortunate that the pillars of our community have been pulled down and that this is likely to worsen as we approach 2022," said the elders led by retired Major John Seii.

Wilson Leitich, chairman of the county's peace team, asked leaders in the region to hold a meeting aimed at sorting out their differences.

The view is that Deputy President William Ruto (Jubilee Party) is leading Nandis while Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (Kanu chairman) and Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto are leading the Kipsigis and Tugen communities respectively.

West Pokot Senator John Lonyangapuo (Kanu) has been seen as the leader of the Pokots.

Ruto and Gideon often criticise each other over the bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta. In March, the Senator told Ruto to support his 2022 presidential bid in a show of gratitude for his backing.

More on this: Return favour by backing my 2022 presidential bid, Senator Gideon tells Ruto

Also read: Ruto too busy to meddle with Rift Valley politics, youths tell Baringo MCAs

Some politicians have accused the DP of selfishly pursuing his ambition at the expense of the people while Gideon has been termed unapproachable as he is surrounded by too many advisers.

In August last year, Rutto and Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno told the DP to forget his 2022 presidential ambitions if he keeps on fighting elected leaders.

They asked the Deputy President to stop undermining leaders, especially in his Rift Valley backyard, if he is expecting their support in 2022.

Read: Respect me or forget 2022 presidency, governor Rutto tells DP

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