Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
The rift among MPs from Rift Valley region widened yesterday after some legislators told off their colleagues over Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition.
Eleven MPs from the region came to the defence of Ruto and accused their counterparts Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Joshua Kutuny (Cherengany) and Silas Tiren (Moiben) of being used by the DP’s political detractors to weaken his ambition.
Addressing a news conference at the Parliament Buildings, the legislators said the claims by the three are far-fetched, not credible or necessary to the situation currently facing maize farmers in the region to fuel political tension in the region.
Terming them immature politicians and mercenaries for hire, the MPs accused the trio of taking advantage of the distress facing farmers’.
Led by Soy MP Caleb Kositany, the MPs said the three have no meaningful, problem-solving potential to maize farmers woes.
“As serious Kenyans worry about the plight of farmers, some selfish and money-hungry politicians care less. The farmers’ plight has become, to them, one more opportunity to continue their personalised agenda,” he said.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot and Endebess MP Robert Pukose claimed they knew who the real detractors of Ruto are and based on the fact that they are unable to contain him, they have now resorted to hiring politicians to create an impression that he is having problems at his home turf.
Cheruiyot, who admitted that farmers are facing challenges, called for sobriety in dealing with issues of maize farming.
But speaking to the media separately, Kutuny and Keter defended themselves saying they are not being used to fight Ruto.
The duo said their counterparts are not fit to challenge them on anything including responding to the maize issues and thus dared the Deputy President to come out and clear the air.
“DP Ruto needs to come out and pronounce himself on this grave matter affecting our farmers. MPs who called us names and yet they survive on handouts cannot tell the poor farmers anything,” he said.
Kutuny said they have no time for people who only speak to massage the egos, adding that it is a shame that the leaders who were elected to parliament by farmers have turned their backs on those who elected them.
Keter challenged the MPs defending Ruto to convene a meeting with maize farmers in the Rift Valley as they did last week, to know what they undergo instead of using press conferences to attack them.
“As MPs who represent farmers, we raised genuine concerns and not petty allegations. It is shocking that our colleagues are now attacking us personally instead of coming up with responses. If we are wrong, they need to come out and prove us wrong,” he said.