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UHURU SUCCESSION POLITICS

Ruto allies and opponents clash in Trans Nzoia

Senator Mbito and Cherangany MP Kutuny accused of betraying DP.

In Summary
  • Endebess MP Robert Pukose, former Cherangany MP Kipruto arap Kirwa and Trans Nzoia Jubilee chairman Richard Chesebe lead the pro-Ruto wing.
  • Pukose accuses Mbito of going against the DP and his own community.
Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny in Eldoret on March 3
ACCUSED: Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny in Eldoret on March 3
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

A bitter row has erupted among Jubilee leaders in Trans Nzoia county after Senator Michael Mbito and Cherangany MP Jushua Kutuny were accused of betraying DP William Ruto.

Kutuny has been openly opposing Ruto and siding with those backing the handshake between President Kenyatta and ODM chief Raila Odinga.

Mbito on the other hand made a surprise attendance at the State House meeting for senators where Ruto allies Kipchumba Murkomen and Kihika Kimani were kicked out of the House leadership.

 

Endebess MP Robert Pukose, former Cherangany MP Kipruto arap Kirwa and Trans Nzoia Jubilee chairman Richard Chesebe are leading the pro-Ruto team in the county and accusing Kutuny and Mbito of being political sellouts.

Kirwa, a former Agriculture minister in President Kibaki’s administration, is a close ally of the DP who enjoys wide support in the county. Kirwa will be seeking to reclaim the Cherangany seat from Kutuny in 2022.

Speaking on a vernacular radio station Pukose accused Mbito of going against the DP and his own community. But Mbito has defended himself and his decision to support President Kenyatta, the party leader.

Mbito has questioned the DP’s role in attempts to manipulate senators from behind scenes with the intention of depicting the President as not being in control of Jubilee.

“What was the agenda of the deputy president’s team when they tried to manipulate the minds of senators? Was he doubting the capability of the party leader to clean his political house?” he said.

The senator dismissed what he called a smear campaign by Ruto's allies led by Pukose to taint his image by portraying him as a traitor.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is the party leader of Jubilee and his authority cannot be questioned as long as he has a mandate to lead us. Branding me a traitor for honouring his invite is uncalled for,” he said.

Some youths allied to Jubilee led by Jason Wamalwa accused Kutuny and Mbito of being political sellouts and a liability to the electorate in the region.

 “Kutuny abandoned his constituency long ago to go and serve his masters in Nairobi while Mbito has equally failed as a senator, ” Wamalwa said.

But another group of Trans Nzoia Jubilee grassroot leaders defended Kutuny and Mbito and urged them to continue supporting President Kenyatta and the handshake.

They included former Kitale deputy mayor Pius Kauka and community leaders David Mutambo and Julius Chirchir.

“We know Mbito did not commit any sin by voting against senators Murkomen, Kihika and Kindiki Kithure. Mbito did as instructed by his electorate in Trans Nzoia,” Kauka said.

He said efforts by some Jubilee leaders to undermine Mbito and Kutuny would flop because the two were elected by people from all communities residing in Trans Nzoia.

The former mayor accused Jubilee officials in the area of mismanaging party affairs and even incurring debts, which caused them to stay away from the region.

Kauka said they wanted President Kenyatta to streamline Jubilee's operations up to the counties and to ensure leadership in the county assemblies was taken over by loyal MCAs.

Kutuny has told off the leaders terming their agenda as desperate. They failed to rightfully advise the deputy president on how to effectively achieve his dream of succeeding Uhuru, he said.

“Ruto’s problems are created by himself. He has surrounded himself by sycophants who mislead him always,” Kutuny said.

Edited by Henry Makori