Rift Valley billionaires and political magnates who were once close political buddies of DP William Ruto have deserted him and are now plotting a new political force against him. David Langat, Joshua Kulei, Zedekiah Bundotich Kiprop, alias Buzeki, and Silas Simotwo who are in the Billionaires club and have supported Ruto for years, have broken ranks with him and are now on the opposing side.
But between the 2013 General Election and now, the once blossoming friendships have withered and some of them are now plotting to scuttle his presidential bid in favour of other leaders from the region.
Their differences have been blamed on business rivalry, with accusations that Mr Ruto and his allies have snatched contracts from them and what they perceive as arrogance of Mr Ruto’s friends.
They blame the Deputy President for allegedly using his office and influence to frustrate their businesses and snatch from them multibillion-shilling tenders in favour of Chinese companies.
The contentious contracts include the standard gauge railway, which was eventually awarded to China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s Greenfield terminal, which was inexplicably cancelled, the school laptop project and special economic zones, one of which is on the verge of being cancelled.
There is a general feeling among this group that the deputy president has set some of his foot soldiers on a hate campaign targeting them.
With the relationship effectively dead, the businessmen are coming together to unsettle the DP in his own backyard.
Mr Langat has taken an increasingly important role of running Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM), which is led by former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, who too fell out with the DP before the 2017 General Election.
“A number of things are going on but I don’t want to talk about that because the time for politics will come. For now, let us focus on how we can deal with youth unemployment and other problems we face as a country,” Mr Langat said.
“We are working on a strategy where CCM and Kanu are going to work together before joining a larger alliance that will have a better chance of forming the next government,” the confidante said.
On his part, former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot said the Kalenjin people cannot follow a leader blindly when he is not leading them in the right direction.
“The Kalenjins, just like other Kenyans, have the freedom of thought and association. I do not believe in being pigeonholed for the sake of an individual’s ambition, especially a megalomaniac. Such does not solve community issues,” he said