JP’S BANE ACROSS THE RIFT VALLEY
ZAKAYO CHERUIYOT, MP FOR KURESOI SOUTH / “The country is split along tribal lines and if it’s a crime for some of us to point out such underlying issues for the sake of the country, so be it”
THE mention of Zakayo Cheruiyot’s name is never music to the ears of Jubilee supporters across the Rift Valley.
Not even to Deputy President William Ruto, the undisputed political kingpin of the region.
Calm and measured, the Kuresoi South legislator has in recent times given sleepless nights to both the Jubilee administration and his rivals, whether he speaks or in silence.
“God gave me enough wisdom and I can never be subordinate to anybody,” says the MP who was once a powerful Permanent Secretary for Internal Security in the last Kanu regime.
Popularly known as ZK, the second-term legislator invested heavily in Ruto’s URP ahead of the 2013 general election.
He was picked among the five Kenyan legislators to represent the country in the Pan African Parliament (PAP) as a reward.
A few months later the fallout came and the cordial relationship between ZK and the DP nosedived. Irretrievably.
He felt alienated by Ruto in the management of issues in both the party and government.
There were no consultations on how important pre-election issues were to be implemented.
ZK is also unhappy with tribalism in public service, where President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP Ruto have perfected the art of tribal appointments. He is concerned only two tribes are taking the lion’s share of government jobs.
He also feels betrayed by the fact development and employment are skewed and not a reflection of the real Face of Kenya.
“The country is split along tribal lines and if it’s a crime for some of us to point out such underlying issues for the sake of the country, so be it,” he says, arguing that tribal appointments have divided the country more than ever before.
Out of pique, the 62-year-old politician has on several occasions told Ruto the Jubilee Party will never take him to State House, come 2022.
ZK, alongside Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto and Johana Ng’eno (the Emurua Dikirr MP) represent the most visible rebellion against the DP in the South Rift.
“I will never join the Jubilee Party, but I am sure of winning the 2017 general election because I am a brand.
“Parties come and go, but Cheruiyot has been a servant leader even before joining politics.” he purrs.
Born in Bureti, Kericho County, the MP says his rise to the top is a result of dedication, commitment and strong faith in God.
“I was brought up by God-fearing parents. They told me the fear of God was the only secret to success and so far I have nothing to regret. God has been good to me.”
A FEW MONTHS LATER THE FALLOUT CAME AND THE CORDIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ZK AND THE DP NOSEDIVED.