Kenya: DP William Ruto Rubbishes Plan to Form Party in West Pokot

Deputy President William Ruto has rubbished a plan by a section of West Pokot leaders, led by Governor John Lonyangapuo, to form their own party to field candidates from the region.

Prof Lonyangapuo is said to be making plans for the new outfit, backed by Pokot South MP David Pkosing.

The clash was triggered on Saturday during a meeting attended by the DP at Moi Masol Academy, with his allies saying the Pokot should, instead, join the DP-linked United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

Here, attempts by nominated MCA Grace Reng'ei, a strong ally of Governor Lonyangapuo, to suggest a new party led by the county chief, were met with jeers and heckling.

"The party will be an affiliate to UDA. The governor will be the chairman for the party and will support the Deputy President. We are also planning out county politics," the nominated MCA said.

Governor Lonyangapuo and Mr Pkosing skipped the DP's events in the county on Saturday.

Ruto's reaction

Dr Ruto waded into the debate, dismissing the push for what he said were tribal parties.

"Some leaders in West Pokot have lost direction and now want to form parties for their tribe. I welcome them to UDA. Let's walk together ahead of the 2022 election. They should stop being rude and listen to their votes," he said on Saturday.

He added that even the common mwananchi knows his party and wondered why some leaders in the county were pushing for a new one.

The DP said he will approach Prof Lonyangapuo and convince him to join the UDA ahead of 2022 campaigns and shut down his plans of forming a party.

He said other regions are forming coalitions yet Pokot leaders are thinking of coming up with parties.

Those in the DP's camp are MPs Peter Lochakapong (Sigor), Lilian Tomitom (woman rep), Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria) and Mark Lomunokol (Kacheliba).

Loyalties

Mr Pkosing said the consultations had already begun.

"This is an era of stamping Pochon Independence and Pochon dignity. Thereafter, as a team, we will comb every village, to share with our people, the common mwananchi, this noble historic idea whose time has come. Pochon interests first," he said about the plan for the party.

Once a close ally of the DP, Mr Pkosing has drifted towards Prof Lonyangapuo, elected on a Kanu ticket, but who also seems to be charting a different path.

"They have moved to the dynasty group because they have got some wealth. The DP proposed Pkosing to chair the roads committee in Parliament but he is not pledging loyalty," Mr Lochakapong said.

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