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Reconcile or vacate office, DP warns Kericho Governor and his deputy

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Friday asked Kericho Governor Dr Erick Mutai and his deputy Fred Kirui to end their wrangles or they be sent packing.

The Deputy President said the feud is hurting service delivery to the people and the William Ruto leadership will not sit and watch.

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While calling for a truce, Mr Gachagua added that the conflict is embarrassment to President William Ruto, and if unresolved, measures will be taken to push edge them out.

“You must work together the way you campaigned together If you won’t be able and continue fighting you will be removed from office by the people. I will tell the people of Kericho that they made a mistake. We have a responsibility to work for the people of Kericho, the people cannot benefit when there are wrangles between the governor and his deputy,” said Mr Gachagua.

The Deputy President added: “The President recently had a meeting in Nairobi attended by 25 heads of states and they chose to have him as their representative. He is respected in the continent and globally and he will be heading to New York to address UN General Assembly and later at COP28 UAE in Dubai to speak on behalf of Africa. But at his home background in Kericho the leaders are fighting. I won’t allow it to happen. During election you campaigned together, why fight now after winning the seat? You must work together,” said the Deputy President.

He spoke at Masaita village in Londiani ward, Kericho county, during the funeral service of lawyer Vincent Kipkoech Mutai (Wakili), son of Kipkelion East MP Joseph Cherorot. He was representing the President at the event.

The differences between Dr Mutai and Mr Kirui are reported to have stemmed from governance issues at the county government.

Resulting from the wrangles, Mr Gachagua said President Ruto was not “amused and was unhappy that Kericho was having conflict”.

He recalled that in January, this year, he managed to reconcile the Members of the Kericho county assembly and their speaker after similar leadership wrangles.

The Deputy President, however, said he will convene a seating to reconcile governor Mutai and Dr Kirui.

He added that he will also lead conciliatory talks between Meru Governor Kawira Mwangaza and her deputy Isaac Mutuma, months after reconciling Ms Kawira and the MCAs.

At the same time, the Deputy President faulted Opposition leader Raila Odinga for expelling five Members of Parliament from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party over their association with President Ruto.

The Deputy President said Mr Odinga was also not genuine with the agenda of the national dialogue committee.

“He is going through the Tanzania President and former Nigeria President Obasanjo asking for talks with President Ruto. But when ODM MPs meet the President he expels them from the party, is he really genuine? He is not genuine about any dialogue or discussion. If he is genuine, why is he punishing ODM MPs who have come to seat with President Ruto,” said Gachagua.

Defending the expelled lawmakers, the DP said they met the President to deliberate on economic development in their areas.

He questioned why Mr Odinga was not taking issue with the decision of Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, who is a top member of Azimio coalition, to attend a meeting at State House Nairobi recently.

At the funeral function, the Deputy President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Roads and Transport Kipchumba Murkomen, Kericho governor Dr Erick Mutahi, Speaker Kericho county assembly Dr Patrick Mutai, Senators Hillary Sigei (Bomet) and Joyce Korir (nominated) among other leaders.

MPs present were Hilary Kosgei (Kipkelion West), Justice Kemei (Sigowet/Soin), Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi), Kibet Kirui (Bureti), Francis Sigei (Sotik), Charity Kathambi (Njoro), Majimbo Kalasinga (Kabuchai), John Paul Mwirigi (Igembe South), Victor Koech (Chepalungu), Joseph Makilap (Baringo North), John Kaguchia (Mukurweini), Oscar Sudi (Kapsabet).

Woman Representatives Linet Chepkorir Toto (Bomet), Liza Chelule (Nakuru) and Beatrice Kemei (Kericho) were also present.

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