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Friday, November 30, 2012
RUTO IS BIG WINNER IN UHURU DEAL
SEALED: William Ruto and Information minister Samuel Poghisio arrive in Eldoret yesterday and are met by Kalenjin elders. Photo/Stanley Magut
ELDORET North MP William Ruto appears to be the big winner in the political alliance he has forged with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ruto's United Republican Party and Uhuru Kenyatta's The National Alliance are due to sign their agreement on Tuesday morning.
A copy seen by the Star shows that Uhuru and Ruto have agreed that they will share all public appointments on a 50-50 basis. Out of the 22 cabinet positions under the constitution, each party will have 11 positions.
However Ruto will be able to use his posts to exclusively satisfy his URP members whereas Uhuru will have to use some of his 11 positions to reward TNA allies such as Water minister Charity Ngilu, Mvita MP Najib Balala and Eugene Wamalwa, should the Justice minister change his mind about quitting Uhuru's alliance.
Ruto could therefore potentially dominate Cabinet. Moreover, if all goes according to plan, Ruto can end up controlling Parliament.
The two leaders have zoned the country and the two parties will be given exclusive rights to field candidates in their strongholds.
Uhuru and his TNA party will have central Kenya, Kisii and Nairobi exclusively. URP will field all the candidates in Rift Valley, North Eastern Kenya, Kuria, Teso and other pastoral areas.
Luo Nyanza, Western, Coast and Eastern provinces have been described as battlegrounds in the agreement meaning both parties can field candidates.
URP believes it can get 102 MPs (60 from Rift Valley, 10 from North Eastern and other pastoral area, 10 from Eastern, 10 for Western, 10 from Coast, and 2 from Kisii).
On the other hand TNA is projected to have 70 MPs (30 from Central, 5 from Rift Valley, 5 from Western, 5 from Eastern, 5 from Kisii, and 15 from Nairobi).
Parliament will approve all government budgets and key appointments for Cabinet, ambassadors, commissions and the senior civil service.
For sacrificing his presidential ambitions, Ruto will be Uhuru's running mate as deputy president, a position that now has security of tenure under the constitution. Therefore Uhuru will not be able to fire Ruto if they fall out.
Ruto has also negotiated for URP to take the positions of Leader of Majority in Parliament, Speaker of the Senate and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly. Uhuru and TNA will nominate the Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Speaker of the Senate and Leader of Majority in the Senate.
Uhuru has been allocated the Ministries of Office of the President, Internal Security, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Agriculture, the Office of the Attorney General and Livestock and Health among others.
The Office of the President controls billions of shillings, the national security agencies and the Cabinet office. The merged Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock will be a powerful docket as it control more than 50 parastatals and a huge budgetary allocation.
Ruto will take the Ministry of Finance and Planning; Home Affairs, Immigration and Registration of Persons; Roads, Housing and Public Works; Energy and Mineral Resources; Water, Lands and Natural Resources; and a new ministry called Devolution which will bring together the current Ministries of Local government and Arid Lands.
The Ruto ministries will be very powerful. The Finance ministry controls all spending while the expanded Ministry of Home Affairs, under the Office of the Deputy President, will control prisons, work permits, passports and identity cards.
Yesterday Ruto continued his charm offensive in Eldoret when he met nearly 5,000 leaders and appealed to them to support the TNA-URP alliance.
“You will vote for URP candidates for the county, women representatives, Members of Parliament, senators, and governors in URP exclusive areas but vote for TNA and Uhuru for the presidency,” Ruto said yesterday when he met Kalenjin leaders from North and South Rift at Eldoret Sports Club.
He explained that he agreed to run for Deputy President when he realized that no single party was capable of winning elections.
“TNA has over four million votes and we can marshal three million as a party. We have spread our wings across the country and reached out to our friends giving us an edge over any other coalition, he added.
Ruto was accompanied to Eldoret by Information minister Samuel Pogisio (West Pokot), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Lucas Chepkitony (Keiyo North), Boaz Kaino (Marakwet West), Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu), Peris Simam (Eldoret South) ,David Koech (Mosop), Elijah Lagat (Emgwen), Joyce Laboso (Sotik), Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South) and John Lesonet (Eldama Ravine).
“The Central Kenya style of voting has drastically changed in pattern and style. They are now embracing other communities. In the by-elections in Kamukunji and Kajiado North constituencies where they supported candidates from other communities,” he said.