Nasa principal and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto has shifted allegiance to Jubilee and announced that he is supporting the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the October 17 repeat poll.
Mr Ruto showed up at a Jubilee rally at the famous Kapkatet Grounds in Kericho Town addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Ruto, a former Bomet Governor and who was the fifth principal in the National Super Alliance had kept away from public limelight in the weeks following the August 8 elections in which he lost to Jubilee’s Joyce Laboso.
Initially, when rumours went round that he had shifted allegiance, he denied it, explaining that he was only lying low for a while but was still in Nasa.
Friday, Mr Ruto joined leaders from across the Rift Valley as the President hit the campaign trail following the nullification of the August 8 presidential results.
County chiefs from across 10 counties of the region, MPs and other elected leaders from as far as West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Baringo and Uasin Gishu were in attendance.
“Kericho’s Kapkatet Grounds is where major declarations are made. Tomorrow, as from 8am, let us show the President our unity and that we shall vote (for him) to the last man come October 17,” said Governor Chepkwony.
Analysts were already looking into Ruto’s change of heart.
Maasai Mara University lecturer Joel Soi said Mr Ruto had taken to take advantage of the confusion (following the Supreme Court judgement) to campaign for the President and salvage his political career.
“Another issue is that Mr Ruto’s administration is a subject of investigation because of some wrongs that happened and he could be trying to seek immunity in being pro-Jubilee and in being on [the same] side with the Kalenjin community,” said Mr Soi.
Mr Ruto’s return means he would share the podium with his erstwhile political nemesis, DP Ruto, with whom he fell out after the 2013 elections over a raft of issues among them the decision to disband the United Republican Party which they both started to unite the Kalenjins.
Since they fell out in 2013, the two hardly shared podiums and when they did, there would be wrangles amongst their supporters.
The last time they attended a common event in Bomet, the former governor threatened to end the meeting after people became disorderly, something that did not go down well with the DP.