Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake comrade Raila Odinga not only used their visit to Kisii county to celebrate the Mashujaa Day but also used the occasion to try dismantle the political networks of William Ruto which he has built in the Gusii region for his presidential bid come the 2022 general election.
A key player behind dismantling Ruto’s influence in Gusiiland was Governor James Ongwae. He is said to have used the national celebrations to identify Ruto major avenues in making inroads in the region and worked on counter moves with the help of CS Fred Matiang’i and it worked out well.
The two leaders who spent their night in Kisii town woke up the following day where they received the Building Bridges Initiative Report from the committee headed by Senator Yusuf Haji at Kisii State Lodge which formed the basis and genesis of rooting out Ruto’s popularity in Gusii land.
Ruto who has been camping in Nyamira and Kisii counties for now close to one year has been using churches, boda boda riders, mama mboga, small businessmen and women so as to propel his agenda of succeeding Uhuru who started betraying him immediately after having a handshake with Raila.
It is indeed an open secret that Ruto and Uhuru have fallen out politically because what Uhuru claims to be Ruto’s early political campaigns that are supposedly undermining Uhuru’s legacy this as if Ruto is tying Uhuru’s hands. To worsen their relationship, Ruto had also come out in public saying that he would oppose the BBI report saying it was meant to create positions for a few individuals at the expense of many youths who are jobless.
Immediately they received the BBI report, without mincing words, Uhuru and Raila declared total war against Ruto and his followers who they termed as political enemies of Kenyans for opposing a document which the two purport is meant to unite the country and bring to an end of chaos, destruction of properties and loss of lives every time the country goes to the next general election.
To scuttle Ruto’s popularity in Kisii county, the president organised a meeting with all boda bodas in town where he gave them Sh3 million with the motive of ditching Ruto politically. Then on Friday last week, the president was in Nairobi, meeting boda bodas at the Pumwani Conference Centre where the president was hosted by the National Boda Boda Safety of Kenya Association chairman Kelvin Mubadi and his officials.
The president had wanted the money to go the boda bodas Sacco but the members in Kisii refused, arguing that they have no confidence with the Sacco, and therefore they be given the funds in cash and that is what exactly happened.
The president also met the Shabana FC players where he presented them with a bus in addition with to Sh 5million. Raila, who accompanied the president, also made his donation of Sh1million to the club.
After the Kisii meeting with the bodaboda riders Uhuru headed to Nyamira county, hit out his deputy telling him to stop poisoning the country by preaching tribal and divisive politics.
Addressing people at Ikonge Primary School in North Mugirango constituency, Uhuru said that it is wrong for some leaders who want to be president of Kenya to be spending much of their time crisscrossing the country preaching hate, tribal and divisive politics.
Without mentioning names, Uhuru reminded Ruto that abusing other leaders cannot guarantee him to get votes from Kenyans.
“As your president, I only have a vote but the next president will be determined by you Kenyans,” he stated.
The president asked leaders to discard divisive politics which he said is dangerous as it would tear the country apart.
The head of state also lashed out at his deputy telling him to stop fighting the Interior cabinet secretary Matiang’i.
He said that those fighting Matiang’i are directly fighting him, because he is the one who appointed Matiang’i to the position he holds in government.
“Let me tell those who are abusing and fighting Matiang’i that I have a lot of confidence in him, and they are wasting their time. He chairs some cabinet committees and since I appointed him to the security docket, good reforms in the security sector have been realised. I want to tell all those who have any issues with Matiang’i to directly face me because I am the one who appointed him,” the president told a told a cheering crowd.
The president asked the community whether they were tired with Matiang’i so that he can sack him from the position but the public responded that they had respect and confidence in the CS.
He said that the “same person” was preaching falsehood about the BBI report and asked Kenyans to ignore him because his followers who were out to see the country in chaos and bloodshed in every time the general elections are held. The president claimed Sh357 billion is generated every month from bodaboda business translated to Sh980 million every day and Sh6.2 billion every week.
While in Gusiiland, the president dismissed Ruto’s argument that the BBI report is about creating jobs for individuals saying it is about making uniting and be one every time the general elections are conducted.
“Every leader has a constitutional democratic right of moving from place to another marketing his policies but not abusing others and inciting Kenyans against others,” he remarked.
He said Kenyans that if the BBI report if fully implemented, all tribes would be in the government unlike in the past where the winner takes it all.
He said that in the BBI, counties could receive at the ward level and students who are given bursaries only start repaying them after getting jobs.
He challenged the Gusii community to support the BBI report which he said would greatly benefit Kenyans if fully implemented.
Raila tore into Ruto saying he is a dishonest leader who has no vision for the future of this country.
He told Ruto that no amount of pressure would stop the BBI Report which he claimed was the only medicine and solution for Kenyan people.
Leaders from the Kisii led by Ongwae (Kisii), John Nyagarama (Nyamira), senators Sam Ongeri, Okongo Omogeni and MPs Ben Momanyi (Borabu), Jerusa Momanyi (Women rep), Richard Onyonka (Kitutu Chache South), said that they will rally their community in supporting the BBI Report.
They also took issue with Ruto for abusing Matiang’i.
Siaya senator James Orengo and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed asked the Gusii community not to allow Ruto to abuse Matiang’i whom they said was a performing leader.
He also set the stage for reconciliation of warring leaders in Nyamira by giving them a common agenda of listing development projects the people wanted him to do.
“There are many things my government can do for you, but you leaders must first sit together, and agree on what the people want me to do for them,” the president said.
Before addressing the residents of Nyamira, Uhuru had officially commissioned the Chepilat-Ikonge-Chabera road which he said was a major economic boost to the region.
His visit to Nyamira was a consolation to the residents who had felt left out in getting a share of the government’s infrastructural support cash prior to the annual national fete.
Leaders had complained about the disparity in sharing out of the resources for preparations of the celebrations with some of them saying Nyamira, which was supposed to co-host the celebrations, had been given a raw deal.
“I’m ready to help these people. But I want you leaders first to put your heads together as their representatives, talk extensively and agree on all the things that they want and bring me the list. I can tell you what we can be able to do, and what we cannot be able to achieve within the given time and available means,” the president said.
Uhuru’s response came after Mogeni challenged him to assure the people of Ekerenyo and Ikonge that he will order for security and street lights to be installed in the centres. He also asked the president to upgrade Ekerenyo Subcounty Hospital to a referral facility.
“The people here, are so many, and they always find it difficult to travel to Nyamira town for referral services. Kindly help them,” Mogeni said.
For a long time now, there have been divisions among Nyamira leaders with supporters of Matiang’i pulling their way against those supporting Ruto locally.
Joash Nyamoko (West Mugirango), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), and their West Mugirango counterpart Vincent Kemosi, have been rallying behind Ruto while Omogeni, woman MP Momanyi, Borabu MP Momanyi and Governor John Nyagarama have been supporting Matiang’i.
Nyamoko and Mose who attended the president’s function at Ikonge said they will work with the president since he is their party leader.
“We have come together from 2017. Any direction you instruct us to follow, we will follow and we shall always support you,” Nyamoko said.
Raila asked the people to join hands with the government to pass the BBI report which he told them will change their lives to a better way.
North Mugirango legislator Joash Nyamoko and his Kitutu Masaba counterpart Shadrack Mose who for long have been perceived to be Ruto shocked their critics after they turned up at Ikonge to welcome the president.
Talk is rife that to further dismantle Ruto’s camp, Matiangi – Ongwae camp plan to hold a major harambee for SDA church after the DP failed to hounour Sh10 million