Deputy President William Ruto was on Sunday at the center of attacks and criticism following his claims that he is the new Mt Kenya political kingpin.
Ruto had made the remarks in Laikipia, while reacting to his leading presidential contest opponent ODM boss Raila Odinga’s attempts to woo the region.
He said that he is the man in charge, with his allies like Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua stating that those keen on the Central Kenya vote must go through him.
But the remarks have been rubbished by allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta from the same region who are now campaigning for the former Premier.
They include Kieni MP Kanini Kega, who, while accompanying Raila to Naivasha, Nyahururu, Subukia and Nakuru, laughed at the DP and his allies’ claims.
He said that only the people will stop Raila’s presidency if they are not happy with him and not any other politician like the DP or any of his troops.
Raila expressed hope that the Kikuyu community will stand with him, noting that he has had no clashes with the people and has worked with them before.
“Raila climbed the mountain a long time ago when he supported Kibaki. When I said Kibaki Tosha, I knew he was a Kikuyu, and Kikuyus are Kenyans,” he said.
He was also accompanied by area governors Lee Kinyanjui and Nderitu Muriithi, both of whom praised his ideologies, declaring their full support for his bid.
Also present was Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, who mocked Ruto for allegedly confusing his Sugoi village in Uasin Gishu to Central Kenya.
“Sugoi is not even close to the mountain. Ruto should stop thinking that he owns the mountain,” said the National Assembly Minority Chief Whip.
Raila is for the first time in 14 years enjoying some backing from the mountain, where leaders have previously done all they could to taint his image.
His bid is reported to have the backing of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seen as the man dispatching his allies to campaign for him in Mt Kenya.
He is also seen as the favourite of the Mt Kenya Foundation and the only man who can help the President stop Ruto from succeeding him.