Ruto allies flee to Raila’s embrace

Waruguru is a foremost member of Ruto’s Tanga Tanga brigade

Opposition leader Raila Odinga is welcoming jolted political allies of embattled Deputy President William Ruto.

Just a few days after former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa loudly complained that Dr Ruto was keeping quiet when his troops were being whipped mercilessly, Raila met outspoken Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru for private talks in his Capitol Hill office.

Ms Waruguru is a foremost member of Ruto’s Tanga Tanga brigade who had taken a political sabbatical in the last few months.

A fierce supporter of Ruto, she emerged a star of DP’s brigade that went round bashing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) championed by Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Her surprise appearance at Capitol Hill in company of ODM Minority Whip in Parliament Junet Mohamed set tongues wagging. And when she spoke to The Standard last evening, she agreed that things have changed.

Switching gears

“The next general election is not coming tomorrow. I have switched gears to lobby for development and service delivery to Laikipians,” she said.

Waruguru also said she was not under any duress or coerced by anyone to shift her political allegiance to Raila or President Kenyatta, insisting that she was doing so for the good of the people of Laikipia County.

“As American author Patience Johnson once stated that ‘in politics there are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies but permanent interests’, and in my context at least, this rings true,” she said.

In her social media accounts and immediately she left Capital Hill, the MP began to preach about the benefits of uniting the country.

Kenyatta and Raila have been selling BBI as a project of uniting Kenyan communities who have been divided over the years by politics and competition for power.

“National unity is the strength that binds and inspires the people of our country. Thus in reality, its protection, peace, independence and sovereignty are directly dependent on and relative to a nation’s pride, patriotism, and social cohesion also known as unity,” she wrote on Twitter saying these formed her discussions with Raila.

On Facebook, she was more pointed in her support for the Uhuru-Raila project.

“If we let the Kenyan third generation travel in a tribal train, we’ll have lost it all. And as long as my people in Laikipia will benefit from government projects, I don’t mind. They are the ones that matter to me,” she posted.

She extolled values of nationalism exhibited by Raila’s father, the late Jaramogi Odinga.

“I didn’t know that Jaramogi Oginga Odinga bought a car for His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, the first one for that matter after his schooling in Makerere University. No tribalism.”

Waruguru is the second Ruto ally to embrace Raila. Last week, Echesa riled the DP for failing to come to the rescue of his troops when they were being de-whipped from their parliamentary positions.

Waruguru is among MPs who have received notices of ouster from their committees.

The MP has also been vocal in her attack on Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru especially during anti-BBI rallies. At the height of the Inua Mama campaigns by the Tangatanga faction of Jubilee Party, Waruguru tore into the governor, saying that she should concentrate on her new marriage instead of moving around the country to promote BBI.

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