Why Kalenjin tycoons lead politicians in Rift Valley in 2022 plot against DP Ruto

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David Langat the chairman of DL Group is being fronted as a possible Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) presidential candidate in 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY

By ALEX KERICH

Kalenjin tycoons and disgruntled politicians have formed a new alliance that aims to dismantle DP William Ruto’s support in Rift Valley ahead of the 2022 General Election.

The tycoons who have ganged up to ensure Mr Ruto is not going to be President in 2022 include Senator Gideon Moi, businessmen David Langat of DL Group, Joshua Chepkwony (Jamii Telecom), Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop (Buzeki Enterprises Limited), Joshua Kulei (Sovereign Group).

The politicians are bitter with Mr Ruto because he sidelined them and undermined their business interests in support of Chinese companies after Jubilee won the presidency in 2013 yet they had committed their resources in support of the party.

They are now planning to ensure that Mr Ruto’s perceived control of Rift Valley will not come to count in 2022.

Mr Langat a prominent businessman with investments in tea, real estate and import and export sectors is set to start rebranding Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) and ultimately be the party’s presidential candidate in 2022.

The entry of Mr Langat in the presidential race brings presidential candidates from Rift Valley to three as already Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and Deputy President William Ruto are already in the race.

Mr Langat is said to be working with disgruntled politicians in Rift Valley who fear the possibility of being sidelined by either the pro-Ruto or Pro-Gideon allied leaders.

Joshua Kulei of Sovereign Group and former President Daniel Moi aide. PHOTO/COURTESY

Mr Langat is among several leaders from Rift Valley who in recent times have indicated their displeasure by pro-Ruto allied leaders popularly known as Tanga Tanga team.

Those leaving the DP’s camp are blaming his close allies, accusing them of arrogance and disrespect. It is not yet clear what has made Mr Langat join the presidential race and whether he has the political clout to match that of Senator Moi and DP Ruto.

However, his close allies say that Mr Langat has a good working relationship with most Rift Valley MPs and businessmen and he supported most of the MPs financially during the 2017 General Election.

Mr Langat joins Elgeyo-Marakwet County Governor Alex Tolgos who recently said that he had severed links with DP Ruto citing frustration and insults from Ruto’s allies.

Governor Tolgos announced that he was leaving the DP’s team in search for a more “accommodating” camp as supremacy battle between the DP and Senator Moi intensifies ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Mr Tolgos, who has had a long-running personal battle with Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, said he had made the decision not to join the Tanga Tanga team, which he described as being “full of insults and arrogance”.

Senator Gideon Moi he is going to be the Kanu presidential candidate in 2022. PHOTO/COURTESY

Mr Murkomen is one of the closest allies of the DP and a key member of the Tanga Tanga team.

Governor Tolgos and Mr Langat joins other leaders including Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, MPs Sila Tiren (Moiben), Joshua Kutuny (Cherangany) and Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) who have recently shifted camp and are considered to have a soft spot for Senator Moi.

Influential Uasin Gishu politician Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop, commonly referred to as Buzeki, has also ditched the Ruto camp citing frustration by those close to the DP and joined Chama Cha Mashinani founded by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto.

Both Mr Ruto and Mr Moi regard the Rift Valley as their political bastion and have been keen to control it for more bargaining power in the 2022 polls.

Mr Tolgos has maintained that he was not happy with the way those close to Dr Ruto were treating other leaders from the region.

Although Mr Tolgos said he was still in Jubilee and would respect both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, he praised Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, the Kanu leader, for respecting other leaders in the region.

Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop of Buzeki Enterprises Limited to contest for Uasin Gishu gubernatorial seat. PHOTO/COURTESY

Mr Tolgos was part of the team that welcomed opposition leader Raila Odinga to former President Moi’s Kabarak home recently when he went to condole with him over the loss of his son Jonathan.

He becomes the first serving governor from Dr Ruto’s home turf to decamp and join Mr Moi’s camp.

Governor Tolgos has indicated that the barrage of insults by the DP’s allies were driving more people away from him. Mr Tolgos has accused Mr Murkomen of being behind the decision by politicians to leave the DP, a claim the Senate majority leader has dismissed.

The recent exit of Buzeki from DP William Ruto’s camp famously known as Tanga Tanga paints a nasty picture of the emerging political supremacy wars in Rift valley.

In Uasin Gishu County, the home turf of DP Ruto only Soy MP Caleb Kositany and Kapsaret counterpart Oscar Sudi are associated with the Tanga Tanga team, while almost all elected leaders have either disowned the camp or have decided to take a back seat.

Joshua Chepkwony of Jamii Telecom. PHOTO/COURTESY

Governor Jackson Mandago and Senator Margaret Kamar have not been seen in public for some time now associating with Tanga Tanga team, despite having been linked to the camp earlier on. Moiben MP Silas Tiren has openly differed with Ruto over maize farmers predicaments.

Other Uasin Gishu County leaders who are not associating themselves with Tanga Tanga team include County Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, MPs William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Janet Sitienei (Turbo), and Swarup Mishra (Kesses).

Earlier this year, Governor Mandago expressed his desire to reconcile with ODM leader Raila Odinga, an indication that he supports the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ODM boss.

Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut has praised Buzeki for quitting DP Ruto’s camp. Chepkut who was elected on an independent ticket after defeating former MP Samuel Chepkonga has been on the forefront rooting for Buzeki’s governorship in Uasin Gishu County.

According to the MP, Buzeki has huge following among the masses in the county and he does not need DP Ruto’s support to become the governor of Uasin Gishu County.

With only Soy MP Caleb Kositany and Kapsaret counterpart Oscar Sudi rallying behind Tanga Tanga team, almost all elected leaders in Uasin Gishu County have either disowned the camp or have decided to take a back seat.

In a deliberate effort to lay the ground for the looming political battle, Buzeki, known for his sizeable financial war chest, is planning for mass defections from different parties to CCM.

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