Isaac Ruto, the former Bomet Governor chaired a meeting of Chama Cha Mashinani’s (CCM) top decision-making organ, the National Executive Committee (NEC), in Nairobi on Thursday, May 14.
Former Isiolo Deputy Governor Simba Guleid, a CCM national official and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Frontier Counties Development Council (FCDC), later revealed that they resolved to enter into a post-election coalition agreement with the ruling Jubilee Party.
The revelation came a day after Ruto’s chopper trip from his home in Tugoi, Bomet County to Nairobi sparked speculation that he was set to feature in ongoing political realignments.
“The leadership of the Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM), Isaac Ruto and Zakayo Cheruiyot (former MP) and the NEC have jointly resolved to form a post-election coalition agreement with the Jubilee Party to be deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties for formal signing soon,” Guleid stated.
“The information is correct. The meeting was held in Nairobi, the focus was on discussing what exactly the deal will involve and what it means for both parties involved in it, because as you know CCM is founded on the ideology of strengthening devolution,” a source close to the former governor stated.
Guleid also confirmed on Twitter that their discussions centred on the modalities of the agreement, with the interests of both parties considered.
“Both CCM and Jubilee are in talks on how to form this merger which is based on mutual interest and social-economic betterment for the people of Kenya. Mashinani Kenya will always be in defence of devolution and fight for equity,” he wrote.
Confirmation of the planned merger comes at a time when Jubilee’s coalition agreement with the Kenya African National Union (Kanu) is grabbing headlines.
Details of the Jubilee-KANU merger were made public on Sunday, May 10, a day before a Senate Parliamentary Group meeting at State House, Nairobi saw Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen replaced with a KANU legislator, West Pokot Samuel Poghisio.
Analysts argue that President Uhuru Kenyatta is looking to remove allies of his deputy, William Ruto, from key leadership positions in a bid to weaken his political influence.
Isaac Ruto still carries some influence in the South Rift counties of Bomet and Kericho, and his inclusion in the Jubilee administration could be perceived as an affront to Ruto in his Rift Valley backyard.
Analyst Barrack Muluka told a local news site on Wednesday, May 13, that whether the strategy works depended on how it would be perceived by the masses in the rift.
“Whether it succeeds or not, it would depend on the public reaction in Rift Valley. Will they feel that they have been betrayed or it would not matter? Would they still want to work with the government or the new leader being imposed to replace DP Ruto will be perceived to be a traitor?
“Remember there is a certain way DP Ruto has represented the Kalenjins who still hold on Kenyatta’s promise to let the DP govern for 10 more years after 2022,” he argued.