- Deputy President William Ruto's allies from Central Kenya say he is the man to beat in the region despite the onslaught by his boss Uhuru Kenyatta.
- The President had held a large meeting at Sagana State lodge with select leaders from Mt Kenya where he accused Ruto of trying to get into his 'bedroom' through the backdoor.
Deputy President William Ruto's allies from Central Kenya say he is the man to beat in the region despite the onslaught by his boss, Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Tangatanga troops on Monday insisted the people of Central Kenya are so passionate about Ruto's 2022 presidential ambitions that they will not abandon him.
The confidants said the region has decided to follow their conscience and do what they called "the right thing" by supporting Ruto's plan to succeed President Kenyatta.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagu on Monday said the DP's popularity in Central Kenya has not been dimmed by the persecution by his rivals.
"In fact, Central Kenya has been behind Ruto and will remain behind Ruto. Nothing has changed on the ground because our people know who means well for them,” Gachagua said.
He deplored that "all manner of schemes" had been been deployed to counter the DP's rising wave of popularity; he called them doomed.
“Our people are clear who they will vote for in 2022. They will not accept a candidate imposed on them,” he said.
The President had held a large meeting at Sagana State Lodge with select leaders from Mt Kenya where he accused Ruto of trying to get into his "bedroom" through the backdoor.
Uhuru's allies had claimed that the meeting dealt Ruto's forays in Mt Kenya a staggering blow and complicated his chances of succeeding Uhuru.
However, the DP's allies believe, the offensive against his presidential bid had shored up his popularity and enhanced his chances of victory despite Uhuru's onslaught.
The Tangatanga brigade on Sunday stormed Murang'a county in a show of might in the President's backyard. They warned their rivals to brace for defeat.
This was the first major event by Ruto on Uhuru's turf since the President fired a warning and dared him to resign from government instead of criticising it from within.
Nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura, who is being kicked out of the Jubilee Party over what he called persecution given his close ties with Ruto, said Central Kenya is "stuck" with the DP.
“When you get to the ground, unlike the picture being painted by some politicians that Ruto has been neutralised, the Deputy President is actually much more popular than he was,” Mwaura said.
Embakasi North MP Jame Gakuya said the region will return the favour Ruto gave them in 2013 and 2017 after he rallied behind President Uhuru and in honour of the promises made.
“We must show the country and the world that we are not thankless by supporting Ruto’s presidential bid. He supported us in 2013 and in 2017. We must remember there was an agreement of supporting Uhuru for 10 years then we support Ruto for another 10 years,” Gakuya said.
Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said the DP remains the darling of Central Kenya and in the larger Mt Kenya region because his plans that resonate with the people's needs.
The Ruto ally said the DP will not lose focus from his 2022 interests as his opponents think.
“Our focus now is about 2022 and we shall not be distracted by Building Bridges Initiative politics. The deputy President enjoys massive support in Mt Kenya and that is not about to change,' he said.
Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang’ata, who was recently kicked out as Senate Majority Whip over his rapprochement with Ruto, claimed those fighting Ruto and his allies know too well that the region is behind the DP.
For the first time, Kang’ata alleged that ODM leader Raila Odinga was being imposed on the Mt Kenya region as the preferred 2022 presidential candidate.
“The government’s candidate in the 2022 presidential race is Raila Odinga, but I can promise them that Raila is not sellable in Mt Kenya. The region supports Ruto’s bid,” Kang’ata said.
(Edited by V. Graham)