Who is who in Ruto’s new party – Weekly Citizen


William Ruto is on the drawing board quietly shopping for a political party to be his vehicle for the 2022 presidential race.
The DP is not taking any chances after Uhuru Kenyatta showed his hand early digging cataracts on Ruto’s path to State House. Ruto believes that at the end, he will be pushed out of the ruling party.
Ruto is convinced that Jubilee party is headed for a split and so will not be a formidable machine to run on in 2022 presidential election. Further, come 2022, Jubilee party will be unpopular as Uhuru has failed to fulfill his election pledges.
This comes as the DP’s political draftsmen craft a well knitted campaign onslaught to counter his foes’ narratives with reduced public appearances, secret church functions and direct engagement with voters across the counties.
The DP’s strategic team has embarked on an image rebranding that also involves reaching out to his perceived enemy’s more so, those in then YK92 associated with Cyrus Jirongo and Sam Nyamweya of the Moi era. The DP is also in the process of bringing on board wealthy Kenyans to fund his 2022 campaigns.
His eyes are trained on the likes of former Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga, Royal Media Services owner SK Macharia, Kirinyaga woman representative Purity Ngirichi, Ruaraka land tycoon Samuel Mburu, Mastermind Tobacco owner Wilfred Murungi, former Embu senator Leny Kivuti, Kamba billionaire James Kisia and a host of sitting and former governors across the country.
Initially, the deputy president strategists toyed with the idea of revamping the United Republican Party which folded alongside TNA days to the 2017 polls to form Jubilee Party. However, fearing legal implications, they want a new outfit to avoid embarrassment but with URP most favoured.
The rebirth of URP became the talking point when youths from Kiambaa constituency in Kiambu county carried placards in support of the DP while wearing yellow and black T-shirts, URP party colours.
Garissa Town MP Aden Duale is said to favour URP and has launched a football club named the “Northern Wanderers” whose uniform had similar colours to URP. Infact it is said, URP is and was the brainchild of Duale after Ruto bid to register UDM flopped.
For now, the rebirth of URP is a subject to serious legal mind that are in DP’s legal strategy team.
Fear has been, there was a likelihood of a malicious Jubilee party member moving to court to challenge the URP rebirth on grounds one cannot dissolve a party and then ‘resurrect’ it
Insiders say Ruto wants a party that will have branches in all the 47 counties, with members of his Tanga Tanga team occupying key positions as they market him as the most ideal candidate to succeed Uhuru.
The first signals that DP Ruto was shopping for a political party came when then Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u revealed that his allies had registered two parties, United Green Party and Grand Dream Development Party.
The MPs linked to the parties included Cornelly Serem of Aldai, Nandi senator Samson Cherargei, Oscar Sudi, Kapsaret and Caleb Kositany, Soi among others.
Cherargei even confessed they were shopping for a new vehicle for the DP for the purposes of 2022 polls since chances were high Ruto would be kicked out of Jubilee asante ya punda style.
But the DP is said to have been wary of using a party registered by his close allies fearing it might not work and hence prefers an outfit owned by a neutral person.
DP Ruto was initially eyeing Chama Cha Mashinani headed by former Bomet governor Isaac Ruto.
The DP even sent a high powered delegation to visit Isaac at his Tumoi home in Bomet where the former county chief had taken sabbatical from politics to urge him to surrender the party to him.
The delegation included governors Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, John Lonyagapuo, West Pokot, Paul Chepkwony, Kericho and Samuel Tunai, Narok. Also in the delegation was the DP’s aide Farouk Kibet.
But the former governor is said to have declined to surrender his party to the DP, forcing him to shop for another vehicle.
Insiders say the DP is now considering taking over former Vihiga governor Moses Akaranga’s Progressive Party of Kenya.
Prior to the TNA, URP merger, Akaranga refused to dissolve PPK opting to work closely with the Jubilee administration.
The former Vihiga governor is among Western Kenya leaders behind the deputy president. The others include MPs Didmus Barasa of Kimilili, Bernard Shinali, Ikolomani, Charles Gimose, Hamisi and former MP Bonny Khalwale.
Should Ruto pick PPK as his vehicle for 2022, according to sources, Khalwale is earmarked for a big post in the new party as either the chairman or deputy, so as to win the Luhya vote.
Khalwale is a vocal supporter of the deputy president and recently lead Team Ruto in a campaign tour in Nairobi where they were joined by Makadara MP George Aladwa.
The meeting was at Town Hall meeting at Jericho in Makadara, Nairobi. Khalwale praised Aladwa for attending the event, despite being an ODM MP.
According to sources, also earmarked for a big post in the new party is senate speaker Ken Lusaka from Bungoma.
Lusaka is among Luhya leaders who have backed Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid. Lusaka was leader of New Ford-K associated with CS Eugene Wamalwa but had it folded to form Jubilee ahead of 2017 polls.
Others in this camp are MPs Malulu Injendi of Malava, Justus Murunga, Matungu, Benjamin Washiali, Mumias East, Didmus Barasa, Kimilili, John Waluke, Sirisia, Emmanuel Wangwe, Navakholo, Dan Wanyama, Webuye West, Benard Shinali, Ikolomani, Moses Mabonga, Bumula, Charles Gimose, Hamisi, Elsie Muhanda, woman rep, Kakamega, Naomi Shiyonga nominated senator and Khalwale.
The DP, according to sources, plans to appoint Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa as the party’s treasurer as one way of winning Coast and women votes.
Jumwa is among rebel ODM MPs from Coast who have vowed to back Ruto. Other leaders who have either pledged to back Ruto or are quietly doing so include Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori, Kaloleni’s Paul Katana, Benjamin Tayari, Kinango, Danson Mwashako, Wundanyi, Badi Twalib, Jomvu, Gertrude Mbeyu, Kilifi woman rep, Christine Zawadi (nominated senator and Shariff Athman, Lamu East.
Others are Lydia Haika, women rep, Taita Taveta and Jones Mlolwa, Voi.
In Eastern region, Ruto plans to appoint Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi to be the new party leader in the region.
Three weeks ago Kiraitu earned another feather in his political career when alongside Agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri was picked by a section of Mount Kenya leaders to spearhead mediation talks between two differing factions of the Jubilee Party.
Kiunjuri and Kiraitu support DP Ruto with the CS going to an extent of positioning himself as his most suitable running mate.
With Kiraitu in his fold, Ruto hopes to bag the over 1 million votes from Mt Kenya East.
The DP also enjoys the support of Tharaka Nithi governor Muthomi Njuki and Senator Kithure Kindiki.
Insiders disclosed to us that in Turkana, Ruto has won over Governor Josphat Nanok who will be a key pillar in his new party.
Nanok is serving his last term as governor and is said to be eyeing a cabinet slot in the next government.
In Narok, Tunai is earmarked for a big post in Ruto’s new party in a bid to win over the Maasai votes. Sources say in Kisii, Ruto is considering using Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka as his pointman.
Onyonka who decamped from Raila Odinga’s ODM party to Ford Kenya Party in 2017 has been telling Ruto to clean his camp.
The DP is also weighing the option of picking Kisii deputy governor Joash Maangi as his point-man in Gusiiland.
In Kwale, Ruto is seeking the services of former Kenyan ambassador to Tanzania, Chirau Ali Mwakwere who in 2017 contested the gubernatorial seat on Wiper Party ticket.
Mwakwere commonly known as Zipapa has remained silent raising questions on his political plans ahead of the 2022 general election.
With Mvurya serving his final term in office, Mwakwere is among those Ruto plans to use to penetrate Kwale. In Coast, former senator Hassan Omar who was Wiper secretary general is on the radar.
In Ukambani, sources say Ruto is reaching out to Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana to join his group and former senator David Musila. Kibwana who is the Wiper party national chairman lately has led a rebellion against party leader Kalonzo Musyoka. He has, however, refused to resign from the party on his whose ticket he was elected.
Also in Ruto’s camp is tycoon Harun Mwau. It has even been suggested in some Ruto quarters that should Ruto plans to have a party flop, he could talk to Mwau to house him in his Pick party. Pick or Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya is the second oldest party in Kenya after Kanu having been registered in 1991. It was the first party registered after multipartism returned to Kenya following the scrapping of Section 2A that made Kenya a one-party state. It was the party Mwau ran for president on in 1992.
In Central Kenya, Ruto is weighing his options on whether to pick Murang’a governor Mwangi wa Iria, Kiambu’s Ferdinand Waititu or Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru.
But the major problem is the threat by Uhuru on Central leaders to stop premature campaigns.
Also, several parties have been formed in Mt Kenya region while others are being revamped in what might pose a new headache for Ruto ahead of the 2022 election.
In the runup to 2017, the DP spearheaded the merger of small parties to form Jubilee. But three years to the next election, new parties are either springing up or old ones are being revived.
The latest is Transformation National Alliance, which is linked to Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria. He had initially tried to take over the Democratic Party.
Kuria has announced that he would run for president in 2022.
Most of the leaders from Kiambu, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Meru have adopted a “wait-and-see” strategy.
Those opposed to Ruto are members of Team Kieleweke led by nominated MP Maina Kamanda and Ngunjiri Wambugu of Nyeri Town, with the membership of Joshua Kutuny, Cherangany, Peter Mwathi, Limuru, Paul Koinange, Kiambaa and Mercy Gakuya, Kasarani.
Others include Muturi Kigano, Kangema, Maoka Maore, Igembe North, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, former Dagoreti South MP Dennis Waweru and former Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe.
Insiders add that in Luo Nyanza, Ruto has identified Migori governor Okoth Obado as his pointman. The besieged governor enjoys popularity in the county and with Kuria vote in Jubilee, the DP wants to consolidate Migori support..
In Garissa, the DP is open to a suggestion by Duale to launch a party for the region which will back his presidential bid.
The DP is also wooing Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong to become his pointman in the region. He hopes to win over the Teso votes if he succeeds in bringing Ojaamong on board.
In Nairobi, Ruto boasts of having influenced his allies to win seats on Jubilee ticket including Governor Mike Sonko and many will be associated with his party.


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