Looming showdown among local leaders as Ruto takes campaigns to South Rift
A major showdown is expected among politicians in the South rift when Deputy President William Ruto makes a return to the region next week on a meet-the-people tour.
DP Ruto will be in Bomet and Kericho on Monday days after his mega rally in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu county.
A section of incumbents in the two counties has felt the heat over poor development records and strong opposition from residents and aspirants eyeing their seats in the coming general election.
Reports have also emerged of particular politicians planning to ferry their supporters to the meetings to jeer their opponents.
On Thursday, Bomet governor Hillary Barchok together with the ward representatives addressed the press as they sought to avert an ugly situation warning those planning to attend the rally to be held at Bomet Green stadium merely to heckle other leaders.
Barchok said that the county is one of the strong bases of the DP and leaders should avoid sideshows.
Seemingly castigating his opponent Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party leader Isaac Rutto, Barchok said that the event is purely a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party affair and anyone with ill intentions should not attend.
“If you are planning to attend the rally since we are all the residents of Bomet you are welcomed but we do not want to be dictated by anyone on who will speak and who will not. If you are a non-member of the party just allow us to conduct the program the way we know,” Barchok said.
He also cautioned residents against being misused by politicians to engage in unruly behaviours or demean their competitors by heckling.
UDA county coordinator Stephen Mutai also voiced similar concerns saying that the meeting was convened by the DP and there should be no face-offs among politicians.
Speaking after a meeting that brought together more than 100 aspirants for various seats, Mutai said that they have agreed that no one will be allowed to speak on that day save for elected leaders.
“We are doing this to avoid a situation where aspirants or supporters engage in a war of words or unnecessary rivalry,” he stated.