The plan by Deputy President William Ruto to host a large convention of Kalenjin leaders drawn from across the political, religious and corporate has elicited sharp reactions.
Analysts have termed the move to host up to 5000 Kalenjin delegates at Ruto’s palatial Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu County a premature and desperate campaign manoeuvre.
The politically besieged DP who is under pressure from President Uhuru Kenyatta’s anti-corruption purge, is expected to spend billions of shillings on the logistics of hosting one-day convention of Kalenjin opinion leaders.
Top leaders numbering about 500 have been promised cash payment of Sh500,000 each while lower ranking leaders will be paid Sh300,000 with ordinary but influential delegates each earning between Sh50, 000 to Sh100,000 each.
It is a windfall that has tempted many Kalenjin leaders including those in KANU and NASA camps.
So strong is the urge to be in Sugoi that a number of retired cabinet ministers have been pulled out of quiet retirement to go and politic in Sugoi and thereafter be paid.
Full catering services will be provided by leading hotels in Eldoret.
The meeting is a culmination of the need to draw up counter strategies to resist Kenyatta’s high-profile anti-corruption war which has so far seen numerous of the DP’s allies hauled before court with many other closer allies under investigation by a team of multi-agency sleuths reporting directly to the president.
Ruto has also been deeply unsettled by an ongoing vetting of accounting officers in the civil service and a planned lifestyle audit on top government officials.
Both measures had been unilaterally ordered by President Kenyatta and are secretly complimented by an indepth background check on individuals through the National Intelligence Service. While feigning public support for the president, Ruto is reportedly greatly unnerved by these measures and has instructed his lieutenants to oppose them at any given opportunity.
Political anxiety within the Ruto faction has been further heightened by an impending reorganisation of government that includes a far reaching cabinet reshuffle.
To add insult to injury, the fact that Kenyatta is in almost daily consultation with his former arch rival Raila Odinga over a possible national unity cabinet without his involvement has not gone down with DP Ruto.
In recent months, Ruto has been consolidating his tribal support through weekly night meetings held at the ballroom of his Weston Hotel and at the Deputy President’s official residence at Karen.