CONSOLIDATING THE RIFT

Ruto allies woo MP Keter back to their camp

Ruto will make a lengthy tour of Nandi on Friday during which he is likely to receive Keter

In Summary

• Ruto is on an offensive to consolidate his political base ahead of his presidential bid next year, working to weaken his main rival in the region, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

• Keter, who has been a harsh critic of the DP, has taken a low political profile for the last two years

MPs Alfred Keter (C), SIla Tiren and Joshua Kuttung during a farmers meeting in Eldoret
KETER MPs Alfred Keter (C), SIla Tiren and Joshua Kuttung during a farmers meeting in Eldoret
Image: BY MATHEWS NDANYI

Negotiations are at an advanced stage to make Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter rejoin Deputy President William Ruto’s camp this week. 

Ruto is on an offensive to consolidate his Rift Valley base ahead of his presidential bid next year. He is working to weaken his main rival in the region, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

Keter, who has been a harsh critic of the DP, has taken a low political profile for the last two years, during which he has been undertaking his master’s studies.

Sources, however, say he has been approached by Ruto’s camp to rejoin it

Ruto will make a lengthy tour of Nandi on Friday during which he is likely to receive Keter at an event to be held in Nandi Hills town.

The MP did not confirm or deny the reports when asked by the Star.

He did not also talk about reports that he plans to vie for governor in the county against incumbent Stephen Sang, also a close ally of the DP.

“We will talk about that when time comes,” Keter said.

Sources say Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei had been tasked by Ruto to bring back to the fold rebel leaders in the region, including Keter.

Senator Cherargei and other Ruto allies are said to have worked out a plan that would see all Nandi MPs unite. Apart from Keter, MP Alex Kosgey (Emgwen) and Vincent Tuwei (Mosop) were also being targeted over their perceived lukewarm support for the DP.

Tuwei two weeks ago made a comeback to Ruto’s team and has been attending  DP’s meetings.

Alex, who is a son of former Cabinet minister and ODM chairman Henry Kosgey, was the first to declare his support for the hustler nation and Tuwei followed suit.

Ruto’s team is also targeting rebel MPs Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) and Silas Tiren of Moiben.

During a church service in Tinderet last Sunday, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, a confidant of the Deputy President, said they welcome Keter back to their camp.

“We welcome all leaders to support the DP and soon, even our brother Keter will be joining us,” Sudi said.

Most of the region’s leaders present  criticised Governor Sang over under performance. Sang has been at loggerheads with the MPs and sources indicate that they may back one of his rivals for the governor's seat.

“Its obvious the people of Nandi are completely dissatisfied with the county government and will go for change,” Cherargei said.

The young Kosgey is considered the main rival against Sang, but several other aspirants have shown interest in the governor seat.

The political rivalry in the region is expected to play out during Ruto’s tour.