The anti-Deputy President William Ruto forces have identified at least eight Rift Valley counties where they seek to elbow the DP aside and diminish his influence.
For the second election in a row, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and Chama Cha Mashinani boss Isaac Rutto are going flat out to dislodge Ruto as the region’s political kingpin.
The Star has also established that Gideon has acquired an expansive office in Nairobi’s Upper Hill area where he plans to establish his presidential campaign secretariat.
Allies of the Baringo senator say it will be difficult for the DP to make a meaningful political impact with the myriad of accusations against him.
“Do you sincerely think that Ruto can become anything beyond what he is now?” asked Tiaty MP William Kamket.
“Ashukuru Mungu mahali amefika (He should thank God for where has reached). But at this rate, I highly doubt whether he will finish his term as the DP,” he said.
In 2017, Gideon backed President Kenyatta’s re-election despite his feud with Ruto that saw them battle for the other five elective seats
However, the DP won the first round, flooring Kanu and CCM bigwigs in a titanic battle that claimed Isaac himself.
The CCM boss was beaten to the Bomet governor’s seat by Jubilee’s Joyce Laboso, forcing him to abandon the NASA camp.
These are Kericho, Bomet, Narok and parts of Uasin Gishu and Nakuru counties.
Kanu on the other hand is targeting Nakuru, Baringo, Laikipia, West Pokot and Samburu
This leaves Jubilee with mainly the North Rift counties including Nandi, Elgeiyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, Turkana and Kajiado.
Cherangany MP Joshua Kuttuny told the Star the community understood that the leaders they entrusted with the highest office on the land had abandoned them for selfish courses.
According to Kuttuny, professionals from Rift Valley were unhappy with the manner in which the DP and his office had treated them.
“The jostling and activity of these parties is an indicator of the disquiet. They have noticed a big vacuum in leadership an are now taking over,” he told the Star on phone.
He went on, “Farmers across the region are very unhappy and its root cause can be traced to poor leadership. The people are yearning for change.”
Last week, Rutto said it must be made clear that Rift Valley does not belong to anybody.
“In Rift Valley, there is this notion that this is a stronghold of a certain party. We want to go into the next election with free political space. If someone will come to force us to toe some political line, we will deal with it directly. We will no longer take intimidation,” he said.
Two weeks ago, the CCM boss received a team of defectors from the DP’s camp including wealthy businessman Zedekiah Bundotich popularly known as Buzeki.