Nairobi — President William Ruto was visiting Isiolo County on Sunday as he moved to consolidate support from the region whose top leadership is dominated by Jubilee Party despite significant support for his bid.
Ruto’s attendance of an interdenominational church service at Isiolo Boys High School came against the backdrop of a mass exodus by leaders elected on a Jubilee ticket to Ruto’s camp.
The latest entrant to Ruto’s fold is Isiolo Governor Abdi Hassan whom he hosted for informal talks at State House Nairobi in April.
Isiolo Senator Futuma Dullo (Jubilee) was among elected leaders attending the function graced by leaders from neighbouring counties including Marsabit Governor Mohamud Ali.
During a meeting with Ruto at State House, Governor Hassan pledged allegiance to the Head of State saying time for politics had ended.
“Time for politics ended in August 2022, it is now time to bring services to our people in Isiolo,” said Abdi.
The Isiolo meeting comes a day ahead of a contested Jubilee Party National Delegate Conference (NDC) bringing together expelled officials.
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta has defied a legally-mandated exit from politics taking on lawmakers in the party who have expelled his lieutenants.
Wrangles in Jubilee
Kenyatta who is expected by law to have retired as a leader of political party will host a beleaguered axis of the former ruling party at Nairobi’s Ngong racecourse on Monday.
Bomas of Kenya, Kenyatta’s preferred venue, was reported to be unavailable due to what its management termed as scheduled routine maintenance.
“Notice is hereby given that the venue of the Jubilee NDC has been moved to Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi,” Kenyatta who unsuccessfully backed opposition leader Raila Odinga to succeed him announced in a notice dated May 20.
“All other details remain as per the notice published on April 29, 2023.”
The last-minute change of venue despite initial defiance against a letter from Bomas of Kenya came amid a sustained onslaught by the party’s lawmakers having since shifted allegiance to President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance-led Kenya Kwanza Coalition.