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{UAH} Pojim/Edmund: Ruto, Gideon rivalry rife despite teaming up to support UhuRuto

Prolonged sibling rivalry to control the rich-vote Rift Valley between Deputy President William Ruto and his political nemesis Baringo Senator Gideon Moi is still rife. This is despite the two leaders teaming up for President Uhuru Kenyatta's reelection.

The rift in the Rift Valley threatening Ruto's firm grip on the Kalenjin vote for his 2022 presidential bid played out in Baringo, Moi's turf.

Angry crowd heckled the DP during Jubilee campaigns in Tiaty constituency.

The crowd on Sunday was unhappy with Ruto's attempt to endorse a Jubilee Senate candidate for Baringo Simon Chelugui, and for challenging his longtime opponent Moi, the Kanu chairman.

"Chelugui anatosha au hatoshi [Is Chelugui capable or not]?" Ruto posed to the crowd.

However, the charged crowd in a quick rejoinder shouted "hatoshi [he is not]."

Ruto in January prevailed upon Chelugui, the Betting Control and Licensing Board member, to drop his Baringo governor bid for Senate.

The move by Ruto to handpick Chelugui to take on Moi angered Baringo residents. They criticised Ruto for escalating his wars with their senator by dictating to them the county leaders they should elect in the August 8 General Election.

It took the intervention of Uhuru and his mother, the former First Lady Ngina Kenyatta, to convene separate private meetings with Gideon and his father, the retired President Daniel Moi, to resolve looming political division in the Rift Valley that would have denied Jubilee crucial votes.

The January and February meetings at Moi's Kabarak home culminated into a deal that saw Gideon and his Kanu resolve to back Uhuru's reelection.

Kanu had said it was contemplating on supporting either NASA or Jubilee. During the Tiaty rally, attended by Uhuru, Ruto met the crowd's wrath following his February shoot-to-kill order.

The order was given to police to combat increasing banditry incidents in Baringo. The DP had a hard time selling Jubilee because the crowd responded with "shoot-to-kill" chants as he drummed support for Jubilee.

Ruto, while issuing the order in Sibilo, Baringo North, said, "We will no longer lose more people because of some few elements who do not want to reform." On Sunday, Ruto's aide Farouk Kibet intervened for Gideon to leave the podium for Ruto to address the crowd during Jubilee's campaign in Kabarnet.

Ruto, Gideon rivalry rife despite teaming up to support UhuRuto | The Star, Kenya

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