22 August 2017

Kenyatta Succession Dominates Governors' Inaugurations

Photo: Evans Habil/The Nation
President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and his Deputy William Ruto.

Debate on the succession of President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 Monday played out in inauguration ceremonies of Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui and his Narok counterpart Samuel Tunai.

In Narok, Governors Joyce Laboso, (Bomet), Prof Paul Chepkwony (Kericho) and Mr Tunai said they will take the advantage of their new unity to campaign for Deputy President William Ruto as he prepares to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022.

"After President Kenyatta's historic win in this year's election, we have now turned the focus [on] the DP and we are sure he [will become] the fifth head of State," Governor Tunai said after being sworn in for a second term.

ECONOMIC BLOC

Speaker after speaker echoed the idea of bringing the South Rift under one economic block for development of the region and in readiness for Mr Ruto's presidency in 2022.

In Nakuru, Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro, who was representing his boss Ferdinand Waititu, said Nakuru and Kiambu will play a critical role in Mr Ruto's succession plan.

Speaking at the Nakuru ASK grounds where Governor Lee Kinyanjui's inauguration took place, Mr Nyoro said Kiambu has a plan which includes delivering 1.5 million votes to Mr Ruto come 2022.

"Nakuru and Kiambu have a plan," he said.

"Once Uhuru is done with his five years, it will be Ruto's turn in 2022. Kiambu then will have 1.5 million votes for William Ruto. We have planned ourselves, I hope you have organised yourselves too," he said.

"We have decided we shall vote as a block and give Mr William Ruto our support."

Governor Kinyanjui, however, steered clear of the issue.

Mr Nyoro and Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi had made a stopover in Nakuru on their way to Elgeyo-Marakwet County for the inauguration of Governor Alex Tolgos.

Mr Wamatangi too steered clear of the succession debate.

KABOGO

Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo is on record saying that Kiambu will not support Mr Ruto to succeed Mr Kenyatta in 2022, which earned him the wrath of other Jubilee MPs.

Mr Nyoro said Nakuru and the larger Rift Valley should start planning for massive support for the deputy President.

"These five years [are for] Mr Uhuru Kenyatta to complete his projects and in 2022, Kiambu we will vote for the deputy President," he said.

While concluding his re-election campaigns, Mr Kenyatta described Nakuru County as Jubilee's bedroom, emphasising its importance in his re-election bid.

Kiambu delivered 913,607 votes to President Kenyatta while Nakuru gave him 639,528 votes.

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