Deputy President William Ruto and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto engaged in a public war of words at fundraising in aid of women groups Saturday with their supporters engaging in shouting matches.
The political differences between the two former bosom friends turned political foes hit a boiling point as they publicly traded accusations to the surprise of the dignitaries present.
Trouble started when Governor Ruto told the DP that he needs to rein in MPs who have been insulting and undermining him.
Governor Ruto at one point threatened to bring the meeting to an end by leading a walk out after the DPs supporters shouted him down.
Senator Wilfred Lessan was also booed by the public who demanded to know why he deserted them after the election.
He was forced to cut short his speech and resume his seat as Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui who was the master of ceremony laughed it off telling the senator that he was paying the price of not bringing his supporters to the meeting.
Bomet DC Benard Leparmarai and the police had a hard time restraining the public from moving to the dais.
“In your absence, MPs have been going round insulting me and publicly stating that they have your blessings to do so,” Mr Ruto said.
“Unless you stop the MPs from insulting us, the political rift in Rift Valley will widen before the next general election and threaten the unity of the Kalenjin community,” he added.
Amidst shouts from the public the governor said, “If these hecklers cannot be stopped…we can bring this meeting to an abrupt end... we can lead people out of this meeting if the nonsense continues,” the governor said at the fundraiser in aid of Joyful Women Organisation (Joywo) whose patron is the DP’s wife Rachel Ruto.
The governor also criticised the government over the resettlement of Mau evictees.
“It is sad that while IDPs were awarded Sh450,000, Mau evictees are still languishing in camps with the government promising them Sh150,000,” Ruto said.
When it came to the DP’s turn to address the public, he accused Mr Ruto of dividing the Kalenjins.
“You can’t threaten us that you will bring this meeting to an end. This is my meeting and you should stop engaging in rhetorical politics,” Ruto said.
He said, “This is my turf and I can’t be threatened. The mentality of dividing the people is primitive and backward.
“All of us were elected by the people and none of us is in an elective position by default,” the DP said.
“I have heard people talking about not knowing who between the two Rutos will be elected President. Is it not clear that there is a difference between Isaac and William?” The DP wondered.
The DP also defended the government on the Mau evictees’ issue.
“You can’t lecturer us on how to resettle the evictees for President Uhuru Kenyatta and I know what we are doing.
“Nothing will deter us from moving forward and delivering what we promised the people in the campaigns ahead of the last general election,” said the DP.
The DP also waded into the controversial issue of the proposed Bomet University College to be built by Moi University saying a technical training institute in the heart of Bomet Town would be converted into a university.
He said five technical training institutes had been earmarked for construction in Bomet East, Konoin, Sotik, Chapalungu and Bomet Central.
“Modern medical equipment to the tune of Sh425 million will be delivered to Longisa County Referral Hospital and another batch worth Sh380 million will be given to Ndanai Health Centre,” DP Ruto said.