- Kanu branches in the Rift Valley, where the party enjoys considerable support, have backed the coalition.
- Ruto's allies have dismissed as irrelevant the coalition agreement between Jubilee and Kanu.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi is working on strategies to revamp Kanu following his new coalition agreement with President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.
Kanu branches in the Rift Valley where the party enjoys considerable support have backed the coalition which saw West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisho elevated to Senate Majority leader to replace his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen.
“We fully support the coalition between our two parties, Gideon Moi and President Kenyatta, and endorse the decision to have Poghisho take over as Senate Majority Leader,” said David Chepsiror, the Uasin Gishu Kanu branch chairman.
Similar sentiments were expressed by 15 other Kanu branch chairmen, including Paul Kibet of Keiyo South.
“The new arrangement was long overdue because it will help the President achieve his plans for the country instead of having a situation where all his plans are opposed and undermined by people who have selfish interests especially within the Rift Valley region,” Kibet said.
Gideon is planning a meeting with a small group of the Kanu officials to discuss how to revamp the party so that it plays a critical role in shaping the region’s politics ahead of 2022 following the widening rift between President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Ruto enjoys wide support in the Rift Valley. His allies led by Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi have dismissed as irrelevant the coalition agreement between Jubilee and Kanu.
“Even the Political Parties Tribunal has already declared that the so-called coalition illegal, but all the same Kanu is not a factor in either Rift Valley or national politics,” Cherargei said.
He said the coalition was just a desperate survival trick aimed at undermining DP Ruto.
Sudi said Ruto’s support nationally remained unshaken despite all kinds of roadblocks erected to block his way.
“We are not interested in small-time politics with non-entities like Kanu. Our focus as a team led by the DP is how to take this country forward because our youth have no jobs and the economy is collapsing,” Sudi said.
Ruto and Gideon have for some time engaged in bitter political rivalry over control of politics in the Rift Valley.
But the death of retired President Daniel arap Moi elevated Gideon’s political stature after he was endorsed by the Moi family to take over his father’s political shoes.
Gideon has a home in Soy, a few kilometres from DP Ruto’s Sugoi home. The North Rift is expected to witness a titanic political battle between the two ahead of the 2020 polls. Both have declared interest to succeed President Kenyatta.
Edited by Henry Makori