President Uhuru Kenyatta is engaging senior politicians from the Rift Valley to tame William Ruto’s influence after striking a deal with Kanu of Senator Gideon Moi. A plan is to have the DP just left to control Nandi county politics. Faces are being groomed in South Rift, Kipsigisland, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, West Pokot and Turkana counties to tame the DP. The naming of West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio of Kanu as majority leader in the senate is part of the power game.
Kanu apart from senatorship also won governorship. Many had expected Senator Kipchumba Murkomen replaced by a Kalenjin as majority leader but it never was. The regions have been divided into North Rift, South Rift, Central Rift and South Rift. In the coming days, appointments will concentrate in Kipsigisland,Tugen and Keiyo. Regions seen as DP strongholds in the coming years will be sidelined in appointments forcing voters to sing to the tune of his opponents. Murkomen removal followed the sacking of Henry Rotich from the powerful docket of finance. Many had expected Rotich to be replaced by a Kalenjin but instead an outsider Ukur Yatani landed the slot.
Sources say Gideon Moi fronted for Poghisio to consolidate his power base in West Pokot and isolate DP allies. In Kipsigisland, former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto is to lead anti-Ruto forces. He is is the leader of Chama Cha Mashinani party and recently held talks with the president. The meeting was at State House after being picked by a chopper from his Tumoi home. In Uasin Gishu governor aspirant Kiprop Buzeki is to spearhead the anti
–Ruto forces with Elgeyo Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos taking the region. The honeymoon between for the president and his deputy is finally over, with the ouster of the DP’s allies in senate as the final nail in the marriage of convenience cobbled together ahead of the 2013 general election. But what is intriguing are the accusations of forgery, with the president’s men claiming Ruto’s digital strategist Dennis Itumbi forged parts of the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal’s ruling, which senate speaker Ken Lusaka threw to the dustbin. On the other hand, Ruto’s allies claim the president forged the signatures of some senators to indicate they attended the State House meeting that approved the removal of Senator Murkomen and his Nakuru counterpart Susan Kihika.
Murkomen was replaced by West Pokot senator Samuel Poghisio (Kanu) while Kihika was replaced by Murang’a senator Irungu Kang’ata (Jubilee). For now, Murkomen and Kihika hopes on clinging onto their former positions lies with the High Court where they have challenged their ouster, arguing that it was illegal. Prior to the duo’s ouster, the DP allies, while fighting to regain control of the ruling Jubilee party had irked the president when they took the war to his doorstep with a barrage of damaging revelations, including an exposè on how a company associated with the president’s relatives was awarded a multimillion-shilling tender to supply key campaign materials in the run up to the 2017 elections. The revelations that the Jubilee party paid the president’s niece, Nana Gecaga, Sh361 million for supply of branded T-shirts, caps and other merchandise in 2017 through her company, Bora Ubora Limited, which ironically has never paid taxes to the government, is said to have unsettled the head of state to an extent of him vowing to crush his number two. Further, another niece to the president, Selina Renee Pratt was also roped in, as the person who was demanding payments from the party.
Nana is sister of Jomo Gecaga, Uhuru’s personal assistant. Curiously, Bora Ubora Limited does not appear in the Registrar of Companies’ records and has no VAT number — an irregularity for businesses. It is this expose that finally forced the president to act by summoning Jubilee senators to State House to ratify the removal of Murkomen and Kihika to teach the DP a lesson. Lusaka in a communication to the senate said he had received minutes that showed 20 senators attended the State House meeting that recommended changes to the Jubilee senate leadership. The speaker relied on a list presented by Kang’ata. Those who attended included Kang’ata (Murang’a), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Ephraim Maina (Nyeri), Kimani Wamatangi (Kiambu), Yusuf Haji (Garissa), Njeru Ndwiga (Embu), Isaac Mwaura (nominated), Beth Mugo (nominated) and John Kinyua (Laikipia). Others were Mwangi Githiomi (Nyandarua), Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga), Naomi Waqo (nominated), Farhiya-Haji (Nominated), Hargura-Godana (Marsabit), Abdullahi Ali (Wajir), Christopher Zawadi (nominated) and Stephen Lelegwe (Samburu). Gideon, Pogishio and Halakhe Waqo (nominated) of Kanu also attended. Senators Murkomen, Kihika, Mithika Lithuri (Meru), Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho), Christopher Langat (Bomet), Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu), Juma Wario (Tana River) and Philip Mpaayei (Kajiado) skipped. Others were senators Michael Mbito (Trans Nzoia), Anwar Loitiptip (Lamu) and nominated senators Milicent Omanga, Mary Seneta, Victor Preengei and Imana Faihada.
But the Kang’ata list drew protests from Ruto’s allies led by Cheruiyot who disputed it saying: “You will never see photos of the purported Jubilee senators’ PG for the very simple reason that numbers do not lie. Of the 35 Jubilee senators, 23 kept off.” Before as Lusaka delivered his ruling, senators allied to Ruto had rushed to the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal and obtained orders suspending the post-election coalition agreement between Jubilee Party and Kanu, which invalidated the deal that led to removal of Murkomen and Kihika. In the application filed before the tribunal by Kihika, Jubilee deputy secretary Caleb Kositany and Mumias West MP Benjamin Washiali claimed the ouster was illegal and did not follow due process. Tribunal chairperson Desma Nungo, in his ruling, suspended the political pact between Jubilee and Kanu, pending determination of the dispute.
The agreement between the two parties was received by the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu on May 8. The deal was signed by Tuju, Dzuya from Jubilee and Gideon and Nick Salat from Kanu. But the Ruto team insisted that the Jubilee national executive council has never met since 2017 and could therefore not have approved the deal. On his part, Kositany wrote to the Registrar of Political Parties to cancel the Jubilee-Kanu coalition. In his letter to Registrar of Political Parties, he argued that the agreement did not follow the constitution of the party hence null and void. Prior to the depositing of the Jubilee-Kanu deal, the President, his brother Muhoho Kenyatta and adviser Nancy Gitau had reportedly met Gideon and agreed on a post election coalition agreement.