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Leaders snub Gideon function 'on orders of Jubilee officials'.

figure By GUCHU NDUNG'U figure By NDUNGU GACHANE The rivalry between Deputy President William Ruto and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi played out in Muranga when elected leaders snubbed an event attended by the lawmaker on the orders of top Jubilee officials. class="MsoNormalMr Moi was invited to a harambee at Gitui Catholic Church in Kiharu Constituency on Sunday.

class="MsoNormalMr Robinson Chege, one of the organisers of the harambee, told the Nation that he invited all Muranga leaders. class="MsoNormalHowever, none, including the area ward representative, showed up.

class="MsoNormalInstead, most of them, led by Muranga Woman Representative Sabina Chege and area MP Ndidi Nyoro, choose to attend a fundraiser at the All Saints Cathedral and nyama choma fete with Mr Ruto in Nairobi. class="MsoNormalKajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, who was at the Muranga fundraiser, feigned surprise upon seeing the Kanu chairman.

class="MsoNormalHe said he had not been notified by the church that the Baringo senator was a guest. class="MsoNormalDEVELOPMENT I did not know I would meet my friend Gideon Moi here but I'm happy we shall contribute to the development of the church.

I had notified Governor Mwangi wa Iria that I would be around and I have his blessings," Mr Lenku said. class="MsoNormalAccording to an MP who did not want to be named, local leaders were warned against attending the event as that would mean we were indirectly endorsing Mr Mois campaigns in our region.

class="MsoNormalWe were presented with a you-are-either-with-us-or-with-Gideon scenario by top party officials. The officials also accused Mr Moi of disrespecting the Mr Ruto.

We did not want to antagonise the Deputy President this early, the lawmaker said. class="MsoNormalIn May, Mr Ruto was blocked from seeing Gideons father, former President Daniel Moi at his Kabarak home, which led to claims that the senator was using any means at his disposal to humiliate Mr Ruto.

class="MsoNormalThe Deputy President was accompanied by Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, Ainabkoi MP William Chepkut and Mr Stephen Kipkenda, a lawyer. class="MsoNormalThough he denied reports that leaders were coerced into shunning the Muranga furndaiser, Senator Irungu Kangata accused Mr Moi of visiting his area without informing him, terming it a breach of protocol.

class="MsoNormalBut even if I knew he was coming, I would not attend the function. I do not want to be associated with Gideon for now, the Muranga senator said.

class="MsoNormalPRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE class="MsoNormalWe already have a presidential candidate in Jubilee and that is Mr William Ruto. class="MsoNormalMr Nyoro said he would not have accompanied Mr Moi since his allegiance is with Mr Ruto.

class="MsoNormalHe said accompanying Mr Moi to the fundraiser would have confused Kiharu voters and such a decision has the potential to kill a political career in Muranga, which is a Jubilee stronghold. Any leader who wishes to take part in a fundraising in my constituency is welcome but politics is about loyalty.

My loyalty and that of Kiharu people is to Mr Ruto. That is why not a single ward representative turned up," Mr Nyoro told the Nation.

class="MsoNormalHowever, some leaders interviewed claimed not to have been invited to the function. class="MsoNormalGovernor Iria said he and other leaders only learnt of the event late and had nothing to comment about it when asked why he failed to attend.

I even didn't know about the visit in the first place. I cant and don't have anything to say about it," the county boss told the Nation in a text message.

class="MsoNormalOTHER ENGAGEMENTS class="MsoNormalMs Chege said she was not aware of the fundraiser and did not know the Baringo senator would be in Muranga on Sunday. class="MsoNormalThe woman rep said had she been invited and had no other engagements, she would be at the church.

A woman does not run away from visitors. I was not aware of the event," the lawmaker told the Nation.

class="MsoNormalThe political rivalry between Mr Moi and Mr Ruto has been bubbling in the surface for long. class="MsoNormalDuring an NTV interview on Sunday, the Deputy President refused to comment on the matter and said his relationship with the Baringo senator is normal.

class="MsoNormalI relate to him the same way I relate to the other senators in the Senate, said Mr Moi. Related Stories
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Jul 10, 2018
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