Deputy President William Ruto found himself in unfamiliar territory after senior government officials gave him a wide berth during his tour of Meru County.
Only a junior official was on stand-by to receive the DP with both Governor Kiraitu Murungi and his deputy Titus Ntuchiu missing in action.
Ruto’s first stop was at Meru Level Five Hospital where he inspected the construction of an Intensive Care Unit by the county government of Meru.
Conspicuously absent were the county leadership under whose management the facility falls with the Meru County director of events Al Hajj Mwendia representing the county leadership.
Surprisingly, no apology or explanation was given by the two for skipping the event that marked yet another of DP Ruto’s numerous development tours where 2022 politics often find its way to the agenda.
The top county government leadership was also snubbed the homecoming party of nominated MP Halima Mucheke at Meru Polytechnic grounds that was attended by DP Ruto who led a Harambee in aid of women groups in the area.
Taming early campaigns
Ruto is increasingly cutting the image of a lone-ranger with his entourage greatly reduced in size.
Several politicians and government officials who used to accompany him at his events appear to have changed their minds and become his critics, clashing with him on several issues.
In recent days, President Uhuru Kenyatta has taken decisive action to tame premature campaigns, warning his CSs that he will not hesitate to sack anyone engaging in politics at the expense of development.
Reports indicate that a section of politicians linked to DP Ruto’s 2022 bid have been advised to slow down and stay away from politics amidst concerns that they were derailing the Big 4 agenda that will form the foundation of President Kenyatta’s legacy.
The team had set the country in a pensive mood barely a year in President Kenyatta's second term with frequent attacks at opposition leader Raila Odinga whose unity pact with the president appeared to have unsettled many.