Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 05 Dec 2016 11:57 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Deputy President William Ruto is set to visit the Kerio Valley region where calm is beginning to return after weeks of inter-ethnic violence. The visit by the DP, of which the Kenya Free Press has been informed, will come less than a month after CORD leader Raila Odinga held political meetings in the area and are aimed to address the unease of the Marakwet community about their support for the Jubilee government which they accuse of failing to assure them of security.
A number of Marakwet MCAs led by Festus Kirop (Endo Ward) have threatened to join the opposition in recent weeks, and the Jubilee administration believes this is the best time to assure the region that government security forces will protect the people. Mr Kirop’s ward was worst hit by the violence. At one political rally, he said: “It is better to suffer in opposition than to suffer while in government.” The MCAs also supported anti-government protests, which were held in Eldoret and other urban centres in Elgeyo Marakwet County to highlight the plight of the residents.
Marakwet ODM chairman Samuel Chemweno, who was one of the protest’s organisers, is the one who invited opposition leader Odinga to the area. During Mr Odinga’s tour of the region, he addressed rallies at Chesongoch and Moiben among other areas.
The Marakwet community’s political stand can change at unexpected junctures. In 1997, during the era of Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, a fellow Kalenjin, the community gave more votes to then opposition leader Mwai Kibaki in protest against the Moi government’s inability to address banditry attacks and killings in the region.