Deputy President William Ruto’s camp has run into fresh trouble with a number of politicians distancing themselves from the group’s activities in recent days and slowing down the DP’s quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Trouble in DP Ruto’s camp as close allies ditch team tanga tanga
Political realignments take shape ahead of 2022
Among those who have openly denounced team tanga tanga or given the group’s activities a wide berth are County Woman Representative Gladys Shollei, MPs William Chepkut (Ainabkoi), Janet Sitienei (Turbo), Sila Tiren (Moiben) and Swarup Mishra (Kesses) ,Governor Jackson Mandago and Senator Margaret Kamar.
“You will never see me in Tanga Tanga..This is because I believe in development and not politics. That's why you don't see me moving around with them," Shollei said recently.
As a result, DP Ruto’s entourage at public events has significantly reduced in recent days as opposed to the past where he would be accompanied by a host of leaders, sending shockwaves across the political scene.
The leaders who were seen as DP Ruto’s foot soldiers and key in selling his 2022 bid have either abandoned his camp or taken a low profile with some citing frustrations from the DP’s henchmen.
A section of them have also accused senior government officials opposed to the Deputy President’s 2022 presidential bid of using underhand means to intimidate them.
Reports indicate that last Thursday, a meeting was held where it was agreed that punitive measures would be taken against the rebel Jubilee party MPs including stripping them of positions in various parliamentary and senate committee and reducing them to mere MPs.
A number have also decided to jump ship or take the middle ground for fear of a backlash from Jubilee party leadership and fear of meeting the wrath of voters at the ballot come 2022.
Jubilee cracks the whip on tanga tanga MPs, opponents appointed to top state jobs
In a familiar script, a number of MPs supporting DP Ruto’s 2022 bid had their opponents who lost in the 2017 elections appointed to influential state jobs to allegedly to cut the influence of the team Tanga Tanga MPs and causing panic among the MPs.
In Kiharu, Ndindi Nyoro’s fierce rival, Karanja Mburu was appointed to head Lapsset while Elias Mbau, who lost to Mary Waithira, was appointed to head NEPPAD.
Joshua Toro, who lost to Alice Wahome, was appointed to head the National Irrigation Board.
The development come at a time when the DP has intensified his meet the people tours, disguised as prayer rallies but which 2022 politics form much of the agenda.
It also come at a time when the president has openly cautioned Jubilee politicians against premature campaigns, a directive that has been defied on several occasions by DP Ruto’s allies.
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