Political leaders are busy positioning themselves for 2022 election campaigns with the recent call by Kericho county governor Paul Chepkwony to deputy president William Ruto to reach out to many political opponents so as to boost his chances of clinching the presidency in the coming elections.
Chepkwony who was campaigning for Raila Odinga secretly makes political statement openly during a radio show urging the DP to extend his tentacles to key politicians within and out of Jubilee party ahead of the general elections.
Though it is too early to predict, the governor said that Ruto has high chances of being the next president but he should consolidate as much support as possible in different parts of the country.
“Ruto stands high chances of becoming the next president because he is the most popular leader at the moment among key politicians in the country. But I want to appeal to him to reach out to as many politicians as possible irrespective of their political affiliations,” said Chepkwony during a radio show.
The second term Jubilee governor called on the deputy president to reach out to Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford-K party leader Moses Wetang’ula, Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua, Wiper Democratic Movement party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kitui governor Charity Ngilu among prominent politicians in the country.
As Chepkwony proposes the likes of Mudavadi who is also a presidential candidate, it is better to bring on board popular Kalenjin leaders such as Zakayo Cheruiyot and Isaac Ruto who are not in good books with the DP because of past history.
He at the same time called on the DP to meet politicians from the Rift Valley region and iron out their political differences, with a view of backing his bid in the coming polls saying disunity in the region will be his undoing on matters of politics.
Politicians allied to Baringo senator Gideon Moi such as MPs William Kamket, Silas Tiren, Alfred Keter, Joshua Kuttuny do not see-eye-to-eye with the DP and they command a huge following, “an issue that William must look for all means to contain those opposed to him,” he is quoted as saying.
Other politicians from Rift Valley include former ministers Franklin Bett, Henry Kosgey, Sally Koskei, former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot, Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani and businessmen Zedekiah Bundotich, David Langat among others, who should also be brought to the fold to support the DP’s bid should need be.
Unless the DP thinks of how to reach out to those opposed to him then it is not easy to go through in Kalenjin community since those opposed to his bid are popular and are close allies of Gideon and will carry a sizeable number to wherever Gideon is headed.
“Disunity among our people may deal a blow to the DP’s presidential bid. So, I am appealing to Ruto to meet and iron out their political differences as we march towards the 2022 elections,” said Governor Chepkwony.
Ruto diehards in Rift Valley region led by senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot and his Bomet counterpart Christopher Langat are behind the DP but are not popular on the ground.
Chepkwony claimed that the deputy president will get a sizeable share of Mt Kenya region votes but political analysts say the votes from the region are not reliable so the DP must not count much on the region.
“Don’t ever underrate the DP in Mt Kenya region. He will pull a surprise there because he has strong support. A number of MPs from the region are backing him. He is a force to reckon with in the 2022 polls. We have seen how he is welcomed in the region whenever he goes there,” Chepkwony said.
Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to declare whether he will back Ruto’s bid for the presidency despite having said that after 2013 polls, he would serve for 10 years before handing over the mantle to his deputy to serve for the same period.
Political leaders in the country are divided on the recently launched Building Bridges Imitative with the DP and his supporters to pass through parliament while Raila Odinga and his team want referendum.
Time will tell who will carry the day but already, the politics of 2022 is associated with the BBI, an issue that may have forced the DP to support the initiative, thus making his critics to go back to drawing board to restrategise.
The DP is expected to face Raila, Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Ford-K leader Moses Wetang’ula and Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i who is being touted as a compromise candidate