Gideon allies in Maasailand ‘defect’ to Ruto camp

By Ben Leshau

The race to State House for two of the Rift Valley’s sons, Deputy President William Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has entered rough terrain as each contestant seeks to seal all the loopholes to outpace the other. Ruto has won to his side vocal Narok-KANU MP ahead of 2022.
In the run up to the August,8 General Election last year, Ruto faced bitter, fierce critics led by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) and Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno both of whom have now joined the DP’s camp popularly known as ‘Tangatanga Squad’.
Of relevance though is the latter who has been a close ally of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi who has since expressed interest in the country’s top job.
According to sources, after the Kapkatet Stadium rally that brought together the President and others where the former Bomet Governor and outspoken CCM leader was brought in, Ng’eno spoke something that seemed to have touched the DP’s heart.
“Ng’eno told the DP to his face that should he want to clinch that seat he should start by uniting local leaders first. After that they shook hands with the DP, the rest as they say, became history. “The two are now together,” intimated a source.
To DP, Ng’eno is an asset as he has an immense following among the Maasai and Kipsigis in the South Rift region, and thus will ensure that the vote-rich region is well sealed.
The dalliance between the two has recently come to the public as the duo have been accompanying each other to various parts, and recently they were in two functions at Naikarra in Narok West and Sogoo in Narok South where they were spotted exchanging pleasantries.
According to Sagamian MCA, Wesley Koech, DP’s move to welcome his critics to his brood was a smart move and Ng’eno was a big boost to the team ‘Hustler’.
“Ng’eno, Isaac Ruto and other Jubilee opponents in Narok have been a thorn in the flesh of DP’s 2022 journey but we are now glad that he has engaged them and managed to bring them in. Going to the next general election it will be a smooth journey now,”said the Ward Rep.
As he made inroads to inherit specifically the Maasai voting base, the DP also acquired Patrick Ntutu who contested for the Governorship on CCM ticket and gave him the Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) further weakening the opposition base in the Maa county.
Speaking at Naikarra, Ntutu told the congregation that it was actually the DP who called him while with the President and that’s how he got to be Fred Matiang’i’s junior.
“We fought hard with my friend Samuel Tunai (Jubilee) but after election, he won. I thought we were done when DP called and said that he wanted to see me; and as they say, the rest is what you now see. Iam in government,” stated Ntutu.
Ntutu who has hinted on returning to seek for the gubernatorial seat in 2022 said he will rally the Maa community behind the DP Ruto’s bid.
Another DP’s newly-acquired ally is the Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo who was elected on CCM Party who vowed that he shall work with the Government for his constituents to get development.
“Immediately I was elected I realised that I had boarded the wrong vehicle and I quickly turned to Government and for the last one and half years I have served as an MP I have seen a lot happening to my people and in 2022 I will never repeat the mistake of going back to opposition,” said Tongoyo.
The DP was also accompanied by Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku who also vowed to rally behind the DP’s 2022 bid as he was the only formidable force.
However, not all believe that DP Ruto’s recent move will yield much in regard to snatching the Maasai from Raila Odinga.
“Let Ruto make his frequent trips across the county but let him be reminded that the Maasai still belive that it’s only Raila Odinga who will address issues affecting the Maasai community such as Mau forest, land injustices and general development,” said Kazaroho Torome,County ODM Co-ordinator.
Torome said for the last five years Jubilee came into power, the community is yet to feel any tangible development.
The DP while wooing the Maasai to his camp pledged to work hard to ensure that issues affecting the community were addressed.
“I have been in Narok more often than in any other place. I have come here in Naikarra five times doing various developments. I am however perturbed that any time you want development you troop to me but when it comes to voting you vote that witchdoctor Raila Odinga,” said Ruto.
Narok Governor Tunai who is Ruto’s point man in the Maasai land said they were going to work with all leaders from all communities in Narok to ensure that DP gets immense support 2022.
He said: “In the last election,as Narok we delivered 54 per cent to President Uhuru Kenyatta while our rivals were in the opposite side but now that they have agreed to work with us we shall ensure that he gets at least 90 per cent of the votes,”.
In his tour to Maasai land, DP was accompanied by Kalenjin leaders such as Joyce Laboso (Bomet Governor), Bomet Woman Rep Joyce Korir and several MPs who called for a unity of purpose between the Maasai and their neighbours from Kipsigis community.
“As neighbours let us support DP’s bid to transform this region through projects and ahead of 2022 we are asking for us to work together towards this journey.

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