• The Rutto-Buzeki meetings are significant because the Rift Valley is at a crossroads, owing to the political value of the region. With Jubilee divided down the middle, its future literally hangs in the balance.
• With the URP defunct, some sections of the Rift Valley say another party should fill the gap.
On Labour Day, a small group of politicians from the Rift Valley met at a Nairobi hotel to discuss how to mould the fluid political landscape back home in their favour.
Former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto led the meeting attended by business mogul Zedekiah Bundotich, popularly known as Buzeki, vocal Cherang’any MP Joshua Kutuny, MPs Silas Tiren (Moiben) and Joshua Kandie (Baringo Central).
It was not lost on political pundits that the meeting marked the beginning of political realignments in the Rift Valley.
Interestingly, a few days after the meeting, which Rutto had said was the coming together of like-minded people, Buzeki announced his ‘divorce’ from the troubled Jubilee Party, saying he was now in CCM.
Although the businessman ran for the Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat in the last election as an independent candidate, he was affiliated to Jubilee.
Unfortunately, he felt like an outsider because he was not in tandem with the owners of the party in the Rift Valley. Buzeki has learnt from his mistakes and is wary of working with the same people who betrayed him in 2017. He doesn’t hide the fact that he would have won the gubernatorial contest had he not have been frustrated by certain powerful individuals in the ruling party.
Buzeki has blamed Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Deputy President William Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet for his loss. Farouk has rubbished the allegations.
He is already on the campaign trail as he prepares to replace Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago of Jubilee, whose 10-year term ends in 2022.
The Rutto and Buzeki meeting is significant because the Rift Valley is at a crossroads owing to the political treasure of the vote-rich region. With Jubilee divided down the middle, its future literally hangs in the balance.
Fortunately, politicians hanging on to JP in the region are aware that they are riding on an engineless vehicle grounded by the destructive politics of the Tangatanga and Kieleweke forces.
The Chama Cha Mashinani Party led by Rutto is in its best position ever. If there is any time CCM should expand its reach beyond the South Rift, that time is now. With focussed people like Buzeki on board, it is in for a smooth ride and Rutto is taking advantage of the problems rocking Jubilee.
With the URP sunk following its dissolution on September 7, 2016, to pave way for the formation of the Jubilee Party, some sections of the Rift Valley say that another party should fill the gap.
Apart from Buzeki, who has come out to announce his courtship with CCM, a considerable number of MPs and other politicians from the region have also expressed their desire to join the party.
For the Jubilee politicians opposed to the Deputy President’s leadership, this is the time to search for a party to contest on in 2022.
Apart from seeking refuge in CCM, some politicians will be jumping into Kanu ahead of 2022. The two parties are led by deep-pocketed like-minded politicians who have no qualms about working together to strengthen their outfits.
Those joining these parties are also people of considerable wealth and predisposed to use their riches to enhance their financial and political muscle.
As the clock ticks away towards 2022, Rift Valley braces itself for three major parties galloping towards the general election. This is so because the possibility of the DP and his allies joining Kanu or CCM are nil.
We all know how the DP ensured CCM founder Isaac Rutto lost in 2017 in a no-holds-barred contest by picking and supporting former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso. It's clear now that her leadership as Bomet Governor leaves a lot to be desired.
The DP and his allies must have their own party for their political survival. Lately, the defunct URP has shown signs of resurrecting.
Going forward, the battle will be brutal.