24 June 2019

Kenyatta Visit Calms Nerves in Ruto Turf

Photo: Office of the Deputy President/Daily Nation
Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta (file photo).

Rift Valley leaders are banking on last Friday's visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta to the region for the resumption of multibillion shilling projects that had been suspended or slowed down as the differences with his deputy escalated.

Several projects have stalled following the apparent rift between the Head of State and his deputy William Ruto.

The rift widened recently as the duo's allies continued to engage in sharp exchanges, mostly on the 2022 succession talk.

CRACKS EMERGED

The cracks emerged following the President's 'handshake' with ODM leader Raila Odinga in March last year.

Although the move has been praised for lowering the political temperatures in the country following the fiercely contested 2017 presidential polls, politicians allied to the DP are uneasy with the deal.

Under the Tangatanga grouping, they accuse the President of planning to use the 'handshake' to renege on his promise to back Dr Ruto in the 2022 General Election.

However, another faction calling itself Kieleweke, has defended the President, saying leaders should focus on development to improve living standards.

LOYALTY

The DP pledged loyalty to the President on Friday and local leaders expect the Head of State's visit will revive stalled projects.

Some of the key projects that appear to have been abandoned are the Sh5 billion bypass in Eldoret, a Sh30 billion referral hospital to replace the present Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and a dual carriageway from Eldoret International Airport to the town and beyond to Iten.

The graft-ridden Kimwarer and Arror mega dams in Elgeyo-Marakwet also came up in their talks with the President.

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