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 Star (Kenya) - - Politics Profile - AMOS KERICH @TheS­tarKenya

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.

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