That Deputy President William Ruto has never hidden his disdain for the handshake is not a secret.
His ire for the truce between his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta and his nemesis Raila Odinga perhaps stems from revelations that the DP was kept in the cold over details of the handshake and only came to watch it from his office Window as Cameras clicked on the two men grinning and shaking hands.
And now, it has all been laid bare that Ruto reached out to his backyard and asked them to do whatever it takes to ensure the camaraderie between the scions of the dynastic Kenyatta-Odinga families.
Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has revealed that all leaders from the Rift Valley region had been asked to frustrate the handshake. The county boss made the remarks while in Kabarak on Sunday, August 12, where he joined leaders from other regions who had been hosted by Senator Gideon Moi.
“When the president and the former prime minister had the handshake, they asked everyone across the country to embrace it, although where I come from, we were asked to fight the handshake deal,” said Tolgos.
“But I was the first person in my county to embrace the handshake and invited all the leaders including Gideon Moi whom I asked to visit the region to build the church and talk to the people of the region,” he added.
His statement came at a time Deputy President William Ruto and his camp have openly defied the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI), a project of the handshake. Ruto alleged that the BBI was meant to sideline his political ambitions while the Punguza Mzigo bill was a clear distraction of the Jubilee manifesto. Tolgos had also claimed part of the money stolen in the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal was used to bankroll politics in the Rift Valley.
He said some of those involved in the scandal were using the money to undermine him and for other activities in the region. Tolgos alleged some of those who stole the dam money were bragging on how they would use it to vie for top political seats come 2022.
“I can assure them that we will not have seats for suspects in the Arror and Kimwarer scandals. They have undermined what was to benefit our people and no one will elect them”, the governor said.
Leaders from the Rift region had been uneasy with the May 9, 2018 handshake since its announcement and have been accusing Raila of using the it to scuttle Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
Nandi Senator Kiprotich Cherargei, who was opposed to the handshake, said the initial picture of Uhuru and Raila shaking hands was “cosmetic with a hidden intention.”
In May this year, Tolgos formally quit Ruto’s campaign team dubbed Tanga Tanga, arguing that the team is full of insults.
“I am neither in Tanga Tanga nor Kieleweke teams but I do not like the way members of the Tanga Tanga team are doing their things. It should be known that I will never be part of that team. I like the way Gideon Moi is doing his business. He does not insult anyone and will respect you for who you are. He is just like me,” the governor said.
“If the DP is relying on Tanga Tanga to deliver him the presidency in 2022 I am sorry to say it might be difficult for that to happen. Those in that team are always insulting everyone, from Raila to Gideon and anyone else including me,” he added.
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