Is Ruto campaigning for Museveni?
Reports in Ugandan media suggest that Deputy President William Ruto could be involved in drumming up support for incumbent Yoweri Museveni ahead of the forthcoming Presidential elections in the country.
According to some of these reports, Ruto received and engaged in consultations with dozens of legislators from Sebei sub-region in Eldoret and Nairobi on Thursday and Saturday this past week.
A majority of those who met Ruto are said to have lost in the just concluded (ruling party’s) NRM primaries.
“I was not invited for the Thursday meeting. But Mr Ruto personally called me. He asked why I wasn’t part of the meeting and demanded that I mobilise area MPs and attend this one. I informed him that I support (opposition candidate) Amama Mbabazi and he is concerned about the political climate in Sebei. We are not changing and I am not retreating,” Kween County MP Abdil Fadhil Kisos Chamaswet told the Daily Monitor.
Another legislator, Kapchorwa District Woman MP Phyllis Chemutai told the same paper: “I am in Eldoret now. Mr Ruto met some of those who won in the just concluded primaries last week. He contacted us who lost and all area MPs and we have a meeting there.”
OPPOSITION FRONT RUNNERS
The Sabiny and Ruto belong to the Kalenjib group, which stretches through the Uganda-Kenya border, although the biggest portion of the Kalenjin group is found in Kenya.
Also in Saturday’s meeting were Maj Leonard Chemonges (aspirant for Kapchora Municipality MP), Dr Stephen Chebrot (Tingey), Ms Lydia Chekwel (Kween Woman MP), Andrew Timothy Mangusho (aspirant for Kapchorwa Municipality MP), Nelson Sabila (Kongasis) and Tenderesi Zakayo (Kongasis MP aspirant).
It is thought the Deputy President, who attended Uganda’s National Prayer Breakfast and Independence Day celebrations in Kampala and Gulu last month, could be working to unite all politicians in the area to support the President Museveni, especially at this point when the incumbent is facing a serious challenge from opposition front runners Kiiza Besigye and Mbabazi.
Ruto, who is facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court at the Hague and is believed to have Presidential ambitions, could also be keen to extend his network of political support into Uganda.