Narok Governor Samuel Tunai last week received strong backing from Deputy President William Ruto who tasked him with bringing back rebellious South Rift governors to the Jubilee government fold.
The DP said Tunai is a national government ally who is capable of talking to his counterparts to abandon their hardline stance and support the Jubilee administration to deliver on the promises it gave to residents of the region during the 2012/13 electioneering.
He told off a section of Narok leaders mainly drawn from the populous Purko clan, led by Senator Stephen ole Ntutu, who have been opposing the governor over the manner in which he has been running the county affairs, saying he and President Uhuru Kenyatta have confidence in the governor and his leadership.
“Please I ask you to meet these leaders who are bent on opposing the government and its projects just for the sake of it. You should nudge them into working with the national government for the well being of the people of the region,” said the DP in Narok.
The DP must have had in mind his long time political foe, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and his Kericho counterpart Joseph Chepkwony. The two are also seen as standing in the way of of Kalenjin unity that the DP badly needs as he eyes to suceed President Uhuru in 2022.
Speaking at Narosura area, Narok South where he helped raise Sh10 million for Joywo Women Group whose patron is his wife, Rachel, Ruto wondered why the Bomet governor had earlier tried to disrupt a similar fund raiser in his backyard. “What’s wrong with your colleagues in the region?
How can one try to disrupt a fundraiser that is aimed at ameliorating poverty among women? Sense should be pumped into their heads,” he said. At the fund raiser, the governor engaged the DP in a war of words as their supporters joined in. They traded accusations to the surprise of other dignitaries.
The governor, at one time, threatened to bring the meeting to an end by leading a walkout after the DP’s supporters shouted him down. The undeterred DP said Bomet is his turf and accused Ruto of harbouring a mentality of dividing people, which he termed a primitive and a backward style.
Chepkwony, on the other hand, has, on several occasions, teamed up with his Bomet counterpart in bashing the DP and those opposed to the leadership style of his colleague.
He says Bomet is Kericho’s ‘child’ in reference that the fact they were one larger district until they became separate districts that later became two devolved units. Tunai, the DP said, is the only sober governor in the region who should be emulated by his colleagues, adding that he talks less but has done a lot in terms of development such as expansion of school infrastructure, building and stocking of health facilities with drugs and other essentials and constructing roads.
“He has provided ambulances that assist all irrespective of political beliefs and people of the region can access other essential services,” he said and paid glowing tribute to Tunai for cooperating with the national government.
He dismissed members of the Purko clan and their leaders who late last month met at Nkareta in Narok North to map out ways of fielding and supporting a single candidate against Tunai who hails from the minority Siria clan, Transmara district. “Divisive politics has no place in this country and the century we are in.
It is a recipe for chaos. Local leaders should dialogue, talk peace and pull together for the sake of development,” said the DP during the fundraiser that was snubbed by the senator, MPs Moitalel Kenta (Narok North), Korei Lemein (Narok South), Patrick Ntutu (Narok West) and Johana Ngeno (Emurwa Dikir).
The senator’s team popularly known as “Muthaiga Five” in reference to Muthaiga Police station where they were early in the year incarcerated for leading a violent demonstration against the governor, whom they accuse of abetting corruption, nepotism and sloppy procurement process, have in the past accused the DP of supporting Tunai, threatening to decamp from United Republican Party (URP), which he heads.
The governor has been given a clean bill of health by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Senate Finance Committee, the Auditor General and the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Dangling goodies, the DP said the government will give a Sh450 million Dialysis machine to Narok North District Hospital and another one worth Sh350 million to Kilgoris Hospital and asked the county government to expand the latter facility. The government, he added, will in the current financial year set aside Sh10 billion for the tarmacking of Narok-Sekenani, Ololulung’a-Olmekenyu, Narok-Mau Narok and Murkan-Kilgoris roads.