Mercy Mwai, Philip Yegon and DPPS @PeopleDailyKe
In a move to blunt the impact of vote-hunting forays into the populous Rift Valley, a number of legislators yesterday vowed to lock out the National Super Alliance (Nasa) led by former premier Raila Odinga from the region.
At a church service attended by Deputy President William Ruto, eight politicians led by Energy Cabinet secretary Charles Keter and Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony assured Ruto the party’s grip in the expansive region is unshakable.
The leaders drawn from the National Assembly and the Senate said they were confident the region would vote exclusively Jubilee leaders from President to Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) in the August General Election.
The MPs made the declaration as Nasa principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula toured the area to seek support for the coalition.
Their sentiments were also seen as reacting to remarks by Kanu leaders who on Thursday vowed to back re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August poll but allegedly had reservations about Ruto.
On Saturday, just a day after the launch of the alliance, the Nasa principles held their first rally in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county where they vowed to remain united irrespective of whoever will be picked as the party’sflag bearer.
The leaders who addressed a massive rally at 64 Stadium said their journey to State House is unstoppable adding that there would be no fallout regardless of whoever is picked to lead the party.
And yesterday while Raila, who was in Kapsogut village in Bureti constituency Bomet county during a funeral of the late Philip Kipsete Sigei denied he had politicised the on-going construction of S38 billion Itare Water Dam project in Kuresoi, Nakuru county and accused Jubilee of failing to address problems facing the people.
The former premier accused the government of disregarding the concerns of the residents of other counties where rivers originating from Mau Forest pass through and said his concern followed an appeal by some elders from the Kipsigis community to ensure the project is halted until concerns raised by the people living down streams are addressed.
But yesterday Keter, Chepkwony, his deputy Susan Kikwai and MPs Joseph Limo (Kipkelion East), Jackson Rop (Kipkelion West), Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi), Leonard Sang (Bureti), Erick Keter (Belgut), Justice Kimei (Soin/Sigowet) and Hellen Chepkowny (Kericho Women’s Rep) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho senator) dismissed as propaganda and wishful thinking, the talk that the Opposition was making inroads in the area.
The leaders who spoke at the Africa Inland Church (AIC), maintained that the region is firmly behind President Uhuru and Ruto.
Keter said: “Our loyalty to President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ruto and the Jubilee Party is undivided,”declared Keter, adding: “This region is fully behind the leadership of the Deputy President, Jubilee Party and it shall remain so in August elections.”
Chepkwony assured Ruto of unflinching support, saying he is firmly behind him and the President while Cheruiyot said the Opposition was wasting time seeking votes in the region and took a swipe at some leaders from the region who he said were undermining the Deputy President and failing to tame banditry in their regions.
But speaking at the same function, Ruto steered away from the debate and only assured Kenyans that the government would play its part in ensuring the General Election is peaceful.
He said the government will not hesitate to do whatever it needs to do to ensure the poll is peaceful and devoid of violence.
“We have a duty and responsibility as Kenyans to ensure we have free fair democratic and peaceful election,”said the DP and called those seeking to be elected to conduct their campaigns peacefully because politics of violence do not have a place in the 21st century.”
Ruto also pledged that the Government would continuously increase resources to the education sector to support infrastructure development in schools and ensure equipment was available in the 130 Technical Training Institutes (TTIs).