Why Wajir and Garissa governors are marked men in the circles of anti-Ruto schemers

BY: Yunis Dekow 

NAIROBI—The Governor of Garissa and his Wajir counterpart are marked men within the Jubilee administration due to their dalliance with the Deputy President, William Ruto.

Kulan Post understands that Garissa’s Ali Korane and Amb Mohamed Abdi of Wajir are the two remaining governors from counties not from Ruto’s Rift Valley backyard who are  seen close to the DP at a time when top figures are allegedly planning to quash Ruto’s 2022 dream to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The duo were last week at the Senate before the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee chaired by Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay). Although the committee did not prefer anything against Wajir Governor, Korane’s case was recommended to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

People privy to the plans told Kulan Post that the endgame is to “intimidate the county chiefs to take heed of the ongoing change of plans within the Jubilee administration.” That could only mean that both Mohamed and Korane were targeted in order to send signal that their dalliance with Ruto was not being appreciated among the anti-Ruto operatives.

“After (Governor) Waititu, the plan is to put Wajir and Garissa governors under pressure so that a clear message goes out there that associating with Ruto is akin to inviting trouble,” source privy to the highly placed scheme intimated to this writer.

The bigger plan is stop the pastoral communities from supporting Ruto. In the late February summit in Garissa that brought together leaders from the pastoral counties, governors Mohamed and Korane took a lion’s share in propagating for a planned lobby group to be used for 2022 elections.

“We will make it (the lobby) powerful and influential like the AIPAC in the US,” Governor Mohamed said.

The scheme to stop Deputy President William Ruto from succeeding his boss in the 2022 presidential poll is in high gear albeit behind the scenes.  Some of the notable members of the team are David Murathe and three unnamed Cabinet Secretaries.

“There is no way we will allow Ruto to become President. Either he accepts to retire with his boss or we will force him to retire,” pledged former Jubilee vice chair David Murathe told the press earlier the year.

Responding to the hints, people close to the governor of Garissa have reportedly advised him to take the only conspicuous path against the one he’s being victimised for—meeting Raila Odinga at Orange House.

On Tuesday, Korane led leaders from Garissa county in visit to the headquarters of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to meet with the former premier, Raila Odinga. The Fafi and Balambala MPs as well as the speaker of the Garissa County Assembly accompanied Korane in the visit.

Korane welcomed the Handshake between Raila and Uhuru and called on Kenyans to support the initiative. He also subtly dismissed the Tanga Tanga team, the pro-Ruto brigade engaged in the 2022 campaigns.  

“As a country, we are in the middle of dialogue. This country has the necessary cohesion for development,” Korane said in joint press conference with Odinga.

Raila Odinga is the Opposition leader; meaning he has no gazzetted mandate to act on behalf of the president but the current political dispensation offers him access to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila’s position is automatically the President’s.

By meeting Odinga and supporting the Building Bridges Initiative, Korane has sort of denounced his loyalty to the Deputy President and crossed over to the “safe zone.”

The anti-Ruto schemers now beam the limelight on Governor Mohamed Abdi who has been watching Korane’s latest move, perhaps juggling between loyalty to Ruto and drama-free reign.

Governor Mohamed has had two years of court battles challenging his 2017 victory. If he chooses to stay away from anti-Ruto camp, they will most likely scheme plot to frustrate him as did happen to his Kiambu counterpart,  Ferdinand Waititu.

If he chooses to follow Korane’s footsteps, he would have to forgo Eldas legislator Aden Keynan, a figure both Raila and President Uhuru always had a problem trusting due to his 2013 and ‘17 political decisions. 

In 2013, Keynan led Wajir leaders into joining ODM despite receiving financial support form Jubilee coalition as it was known then.  On May 2016 during his maiden trip to Wajir as president, Uhuru told Keynan: “Don’t backstab me because since 2013, I’m skeptical of going into commitment with you.”

As 2022 political outlook takes shape, it remains to be seen what Garissa governor will gain from his new camp as Amb Mohamed Abdi plays safe in fast-paced, vicious and brutal political atmosphere.

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