(Photo credit: Chatham House)
A vocal Rift Valley critic of DP William Ruto has panicked after learning the DP plans to sponsor his main 2017 opponent to run against him in 2022. The MP has been holding a flurry of meetings at his rural home to counter Ruto. In one of the many meetings before the New Year, the MP dished out cash to his guests, a new move not part of his usual campaign strategy. The MP has lined up more meetings in the first week of the new year to ward off his opponent's growing influence.
Call them wonders by politicians during this festive season. An MP from Kisii ran into hostile crowds in his constituency as he distributed foodstuffs to the underprivileged families celebrating Christmas. Unknown to the MP, his main rival, a youthful politician with deep pockets, had visited the day earlier and given out 'fat' Christmas gifts, including 2kg packets of baking flour and 2L of cooking oil to households as he thanked his supporters. But the sitting MP was embarrassed when a good number of the residents turned down his gifts claiming they were a mockery to them. Reason? The MP has never visited them for a year. now. They say they hear about him on local radio stations.
A school head in Nyanza region should be under the scrutiny of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Ministry of Education. The principal recently convened a Parents' Day meeting, ostensibly to discuss the school's plans for the new year. However, it would later turn out that the principal was seeking parents' approval to hike school fees in the new year. To achieve his agenda, the headteacher a day earlier had hosted select parents whom he allegedly 'persuaded' to influence other parents to support his decisions. Taking his campaign to another level, the teacher secretly invited hired 'parents' to shout 'Yes' to his proposal for higher fees. The principal later carried the day after his 'parents' managed to outsmart innocent parents by approving additional fees of Sh15,000.
A wealthy businessman with political interests in Kiambu county could be plotting a gubernatorial bid. The tycoon held a couple of meetings during the festive season in what sent tongues wagging over his possible gubernatorial ambitions. There are reports that powerful forces around the presidency are pushing the businessman to throw his hat in the ring in 2022. While he never disclosed his political plans to people he encountered, the meetings were laden with political overtones as the 2022 race takes shape. Forces opposed to embattled county Governor Ferdinand Waititu are said to be behind the push to front the businessman.
This article was originally published on The Star.