Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto declared his differences with Deputy President William Ruto are irreconcilable as he formally announced he had joined the Opposition.
Mr Ruto said as Chama cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader, he had been promised equal status with the other four principals in the National Super Alliance (NASA).
“As CCM we are now supporting NASA and as a party leader, I am becoming the fifth principal and will fight for space and negotiate within the coalition summit,” said Ruto, alluding to his inclusion in a power-sharing agreement with NASA leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula and Musalia Mudavadi.
Ruto made the announcement after a closed-door meeting with elders, former councillors and professionals in Bomet town.
Kipsigis elders led by Myoot Bomet County Chairman Milgo arap Barta and Kipsigis Clans Association chairman Edwin Kimetto endorsed the move.
“As elders we now back the negotiations and ask Governor Ruto to speak on behalf of the Kipsigis community within NASA,” Mr Kimetto said.
In what was effectively a parting of ways with the Deputy President, the governor said there was no way to bridge the gulf between them even in future.
“Working with the DP is not feasible in this year’s election. I am not so sure if that will be feasible even in the near future,” Ruto said.
The county chief claimed the DP had surrounded himself with sycophants, reduced MPs to cheerleaders and undermined elected leaders across the country.
“The DP and I are completely different in terms of ideological beliefs, how we run our affairs as a people and we have got divergent views on structure of government. His style of leadership does not appeal to many of us who are open-minded,” Ruto said.
The Governor said while the DP wanted resources retained at the national level, he on the other hand believed in embracing devolution.
“In terms of economics, I see myself as being worlds apart from him as I am more pro-masses while he is more pro-capital and pro-accumulation of wealth. We simply belong to two different schools of thought,” Ruto said.
NASA principals’ meeting yet to happen
He said while NASA had opened doors to a coalition arrangement, Jubilee was adamant that CCM must dissolve ahead of the next general election.
“There is no way I am going to demolish my house (CCM) and move into another man’s house (Jubilee) with my children and grand-children in tow. It is only an insane person who can do that,” Ruto declared.
He dismissed claims by some Kalenjin leaders he was using CCM to divide the community and for his selfish political gains in the run-up to the August election.
“Members of the Kalenjin community are not concerned about tribal issues. It does not matter to (a) majority of us whether a Kalenjin, a Luo, Kikuyu, Turkana or an Elmolo is the President as all we need is good governance,” Ruto said.
“I was ashamed when Jubilee started talking of tyranny of numbers, using the votes we gave them to subdue other Kenyans and deny them their own development.”
The announcement brings to an end speculation on the coalition Ruto will support after Kanu, which worked closely with CCM in Rift Valley, vowed to support Jubilee.
Jubilee Party prepares for Mombasa primaries
Ruto however defended his decision to throw his weight behind NASA, saying Jubilee had not been receptive to his ideals.
“Jubilee proved hostile to us and we cannot force ourselves on them. NASA shares similar ideals with CCM and has agreed to ensure that counties gets 45 percent of revenue,” said