Increasingly besieged Deputy President William Ruto has turned against his mentor Cyrus Jirongo in what sources say is an attempt to sabotage Luhya unity talks.
Kenya Live News learnt Ruto ordered Jirongo’s arrest after he was made aware that Jirongo was actively leading Luhya unity talks amongst key stakeholders aimed at arriving a single presidential candidate in 2022.
Unknown to the public, Jirongo had initiated and was leading secret talks which we learnt were about a single Luhya presidential candidate and an effort to block Rutos strategy to hive off the Western block to support his 2022 bid.
Ruto has all but lost the possibility of Kikuyu ever voting for him after collapse of the political pact he had with President Uhuru Kenyatta. The DP had turned his attention to wooing the Luhya block to plug the massive void left by the Kikuyu in his potential support but sees Jirongo as an impediment to his political ambition.
Ruto and Jirongo do not see eye to eye, a fact that came out immediately following the assassination of whistle blower Jacob Juma in 2016. In widely publicised statements, Jirongo accused Ruto of having committed murder in the early days and could have murdered Juma who physically assaulted him when they disagreed.
A former presidential candidate, Jirongo was arrested from his office on Tuesday by a squad of heavily armed police officers who arrived in a convoy of half a dozen a heavily tinted Subaru Outback vehicles.
According to sources from Muthangari Police Station where Jirongomwas being held late in the evening, the arrest was executed over a Sh20 million debt owed to businessman Brian Yongo.
Jirongo who is also the ex-Lugari Member of Parliament was accused by Yongo of failing to pay him the balance of a Sh25 million loan he had allegedly advanced him between 2014 and 2015.
The former MP is said to have only repaid only Sh5 million.
However, an emergency meeting called by Luhya leaders raised the money and Yongo was due to have signed consent at the Muthangari Police Station to enable Jirongo to be released.
Fearing reprisals from DP Ruto, Kenya Live News learnt the station OCS and the OCPD had promptly disappeared from station after it became apparent that Yongo had accepted the deal.
When Kenyan Live News visited the station, several Luhya MPs were seen holding vigil waiting for the return of the police bosses.