DP Ruto laying foundation for 2022 by mentoring youthful aspirants
24 March 2016, 11:03
Nairobi - Deputy President William Ruto is laying a strong and early foundation for his stab for the Presidency in 2022 on a Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) ticket.
Drawing lessons from the recent Kericho by-elections where 29-year-old contestant, Aaron Cheruiyot turned tables on the old guards and clinched the seat, the DP is reaching out to young people in the Rift Valley as he strategizes on how to take power after the second term of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
News24 has established that a caucus of youthful aspirants has been formed with the blessings of Ruto, with plans being underway to put the individuals under a mentorship and training program.
According to sources close to the outfit that seeks to discover and nurture promising leaders under 35 years, the aim of the group is also to ensure rebels aligned to the William Ruto led United Republican Party (URP) do not retain their seats.
News24 also established that Gideon Keter, the URP Youth Congress is the leader of the caucus, which is strategising to solidify the political base for Ruto in 2022 and ensure he has loyal foot soldiers in the County assemblies, Parliament and the Senate across the country.
When reached for comment, Keter acknowledged the existence of the group, but clarified that their focus is not only the 2022 general election but also the 2017 polls.
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"We are putting a system that will be able to produce results in the coming elections. We want to ensure we have 100 youths in Parliament 2017 from Jubilee and at least 300 MCAs," he said.
"We are aware that if we consolidate the base for the Deputy President in the rift valley and other parts of the country, it will be easier for President Kenyatta to clinch the seat in 2017 and for him and his supporters to back Ruto in 2022," added Keter.
Two individuals from the group, blogger Steve Kewa and Kipkalya Felix a former Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture Technology (JKUAT) student leader have been identified to oust rebel MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) respectively.
A consultative meeting bringing all the youthful aspirants for the various seats in the country is expected to be held mid next month.
URP Executive Director, David Koech confirmed existence of the caucus group and said as a party they are aware of the potential of young people.
"We know for a fact that young people will be a game changer in 2017 and 2022. They are a reliable group and as a party, we have established a youth congress which works with various teams of youths," he said.
"As we are heading for a merger, all the youth congress groups of the various parties will be dissolved into one. We plan to build the capacity of these young people and prepare them for leadership positions," added Koech, who is member of the Jubilee Alliance Party secretariat.
On the plans to oust party rebels especially in the Rift Valley, Koech who is a former Mosop MP said it is up to the people to decide.
"It is up to the constituents of Nandi Hills and Kapseret and other areas where leaders have rebelled against Jubilee to decide. Though I am certain that whoever has turned against DP Ruto will not find it easy to be elected in 2017."
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