“When you were happy and living the fine life, you didn’t know we existed, now that your cookie is crumbling, you want to hide amongst us.”
These were the words of some Kalenjin elders Thursday who took issue with Deputy President William Ruto for allegedly abandoning the community during his rise in politics, only to seek their support when facing political uncertainty in his quest to succeed President Kenyatta.
The elders accused the DP of causing political division in the community by creating camps to undermine other leaders for personal gain.
They cited his recent coronation as the region’s political kingpin by Talai elders from Nandi, arguing that the crowning was likely to cause more divisions in the community.
“We fail to understand why Dr Ruto has in the past sidelined local leaders and elders and created preferred cliques to advance his State House agenda but has been quick to seek community blessings now that he is facing a storm in the ruling Jubilee Party,” said Keiyo elder Yusuf Keitany.
Mr Keitany told the Nation that since the Talai clan is superior in terms of crowning leaders and no similar ceremony will take place again, the DP must push for the community’s unity.
Mr Cheboni Kimimin, another elder from Keiyo, claimed that overambition with his own political interests at the expense of driving the region’s socio-economic development a notch higher had clouded the DP.
Mr Kimimin said that when the late President Moi was in power, there was no single year farmers suffered the way they have with Mr Ruto in office.
Elsewhere Thursday, Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat told the Nation that it was evident that since 2013, Mr Ruto has not had the community’s interests at heart, but was only pushing his own interests.
He noted that Kanu would continue championing President Kenyatta’s interests.
He claimed that the same elders who say that they have blessed Mr Ruto to be the region’s political kingpin have been planning to meet Senator Gideon Moi and bless him ahead of 2022 but they were respecting the ban on political gatherings as directed by President Kenyatta.
“The DP has been accusing others of visiting shrines but what happened on Friday in Nandi County is a sign of desperation and it is double standards to the biblical teachings he has been referring to, he wants to use the community to sympathise with him as Uhuru axes his allies who are working against the President’s agenda,” said Mr Salat.
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