Deputy President William Ruto when he met with grassroot leaders from the Turkana community in Nakuru County on October 3, 2020.
Deputy President William Ruto when he met with grassroot leaders from the Turkana community in Nakuru County on October 3, 2020.
Image: DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto is consolidating his grip on Rift Valley politics as he runs for president in 2022.

Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and his Uasin Gishu counterpart Jackson Mandago, according to The Star came out on Sunday to declare they would fully support Ruto’s hustler movement in 2022 to ensure he succeeds President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Their declarations comes amidst a series of meetings convened by Baringo Senator Gideon Moi to challenge Ruto, strengthen his Kanu party and attract more bigwigs to his side.

Gideon has met with former Governor Isaac Rutto, who is the leader of the Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party.

Mandago visited Homa Bay in Nyanza where he declared although his term as governor was ending in 2022, he would vigorously back Ruto.

“For now we are supporting President Kenyatta to complete his term, but come 2022, I have a very young and active leader in my county whom we would all support for the presidency,” Mandago said.

Ruto’s rural home is at Sugoi in Uasin Gishu.

Mandago described the DP as a God-fearing and visionary leader who should be given the opportunity to lead after President Kenyatta.

Nanok, who was in Nakuru at a function attended by the DP, said the hustler movement would rescue the country.

He said the DP was committed to his vision of solving problems facing young people and ordinary Kenyans.

“I believe in the DP’s vision because that is where we will get solutions for the challenges we face and as residents of Turkana we will be part of the hustler movement,” Nanok said.

Most governors in the North Rift region are already backing the DP as are most MPs, senators and other influential political leaders.

The governors in Ruto’s camp also include Nandi’s Stephen Sang and Baringo’s Stanley Kiptis. Among MPs, Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Shollei had two years ago declared that she would not be anyone’s flower girl but is now one of Ruto’s key backers.

Gideon enjoys backing from Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos and Moiben MP Sila Tiren along with other Kanu loyalists.

Cheranganyi MP Joshua Kutuny and West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo are yet to officially declare whom they will support.

“Differing with Gideon doesn’t mean I support Ruto. I will work independently to continue helping to address issues affecting our people,” Kutuny said.

The only person I fully support is President Kenyatta.”

Senator for Uasin Gishu Margaret Kamar  who is also the Senate speaker, has also remained quiet on her political leaning though she backed and benefited from removal of Ruto’s allies from leadership of the Senate and National Assembly.

Governor Patrick Khaemba of Trans Nzoia has lately been aligned to the Western Kenya group led by Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya

Both Ruto and Gideon’s camp are working to rope in their teams, however, most of the key leaders who are yet to declare their stand.

“In this region we fully stand with the DP and that is why we have asked him to go out there and  work with other Kenyans so  we can build a strong country under his leadership,” Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei said.