In Summary
  • Mr Mvurya’s top handlers confirmed to the Sunday Nation that the governor has been distancing himself from the DP as he does not want any controversies.
  • Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen accused State actors of being used to advance political objectives.
  • But MP Shaban asked leaders to take personal responsibility for their own actions, noting that the war on corruption should not be politicised.

The politics of succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 is causing heavy soul-searching among politicians, with governors continuously shying away from attending functions presided over by Deputy President William Ruto.

Dr Ruto’s allies now claim that the fight against corruption has been weaponised to target those who are perceived to be close to him.

Some claim the charges against governors Ferdinand Waititu of Kiambu and Moses Lenolkulal of Samburu are construed to send a political warning.

Mr Waititu is facing six counts over a Sh580 million tender that prosecutors say had irregularities.

He has been charged alongside his wife Susan Wangari and eight others at the Milimani Law Courts following a recommendation by Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

Among the eight suspects are Kiambu County employees. Governor Waititu was accused of conflict of interest and dealing with suspect property.

UNBIASED

Regarding his Samburu counterpart, Mr Lenolkulal, prosecutors say he and others allegedly took part in corrupt dealings between March 27, 2013 and March 25, 2019 in Maralal.

Mr Lenolkulal is accused of conspiring to abet corruption, which led to an unlawful payment of Sh84.7 million to a petrol station known as Oryx Service Station that he owns.

The governor faced an additional charge of abuse of office by allegedly conferring a benefit to himself by paying his company the money.

He is further accused of conflict of interest, alleged to have knowingly acquired a direct private interest by supplying fuel to the county government through his petrol station.

Are the cases political? Nominated MP Maina Kamanda, a fierce critic of DP Ruto, dismissed that notion, also rubbishing the suggestion that independent State agencies are being used to facilitate Ruto’s political isolation.

“There was a time some people thought the DP is the President. Now everybody knows who the President is. Let everyone carry their own cross. The war on corruption is based on facts and evidence. There is no politics there,” he said.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa became the latest of DP Ruto’s supporters to be investigated. She is also likely to face corruption-related charges.

SAFE DISTANCE

It has now become a pattern that Dr Ruto’s events in counties are only attended by MPs and MCAs.

Hardly do provincial administration heads show up, buttressing the point that he has been isolated in a government where he is second in command.

From coast to western and Mt Kenya, governors have kept a safe distance despite the DP visiting the regions frequently.

In the coast region, governors Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi), who initially had warmed up to him, have kept a distance.

Though they don’t attack him in public, they do not appear at his functions.

Mr Mvurya’s top handlers confirmed to the Sunday Nation that the governor has been distancing himself from the DP as he does not want any controversies.

They said the governor, who retained his seat on a Jubilee ticket, has chosen to “play safe” as he is still far from completing his second term.

“The governor is working to cement his legacy and that can be done through assembling resources from the national government and not by politicking, which is something that the DP seems to have given priority,” said one of Mr Mvurya’s confidants.

DEVELOPMENT

Mr Mvurya’s communication director Daniel Nyassy could not deny or admit that the governor was avoiding the DP: “I cannot comment on that.”

It is worth noting that Mr Mvurya was among leaders who gave Dr Ruto a wide berth during his last political tour of the region in September.

Taita-Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, who was once a close ally of Dr Ruto, has publicly clashed with him, with his Communication Director Dennis Onsarigo affirming that the governor is now concentrating on supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s development agenda.

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