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Ruto cracks the whip, sacks rival deputy in his 2017 political alignment

The embattled deputy governor has however dismissed the alleged sacking, saying he would not be intimidated to leave office without due process.

 

In a memo circulated to staff on Tuesday morning, Ruto announced he had nominated the county chief of staff, Geoffrey Langat; to replace Stephen Mutai and therefore that later should no longer masquerade as the county's deputy governor.

"I'm aware the deputy governor is busy with his campaigns and I cannot allow service delivery to be interrupted and it’s now official - I am appointing an acting deputy governor to take over," Ruto said.

"The alleged sacking by Ruto is unconstitutional and for the record, I am in office to stay unless due process is followed to remove me," Mutai said.

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Speaking in his office, Mutai rubbished claims of absconding duty, saying the governor was actually to blame since he had stopped facilitating his office with the necessary tools to carry out his mandate.

"It is in the public domain that for two years, I tried forcing myself to work with him but he withdrew every benefit that I was entitled to as deputy governor, leaving me with one vehicle that I fuel using my own money," he said.

Ruto made the announcement while attending the swearing-in ceremony for the newly-appointed Education Executive, Sally Towett where he accused his deputy of failing to turn up for work despite drawing public funds and having access to a county government vehicle.

Mutai and Ruto have been at loggerheads since 2014 and rarely see eye to eye on many issues, the governor has previously threatened to sack him for absconding duty but never went through with his threat until yesterday.

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Mutai is eyeing Bomet gubernatorial seat on a Jubilee party ticket and he is locked in a tight race with national assembly deputy speaker and Bomet MP, Joyce laboso and Dr Julius Kones who are all gunning to unseat  Ruto .

The governor ordered Mutai to return all government property in his possession with immediate effect.

"The deputy governor should return all county property and ensure that he is cleared to go and campaign for the seat he is seeking," said Ruto.

He also asked county staff to stop taking orders from Mutai, saying he had ceased to be the official deputy governor and, therefore, could not represent the county in any forum.

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