Former Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale has condemned figurative remarks by Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot over the 2022 presidential contest between Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Cheruiyot, an ardent supporter of Ruto and his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, had, in a tweet, likened the duel to a derby, a sports match between two rival teams from the same area.
He said the “Nilotes Derby” will be one like no other.
Both Odinga (Luo) and Ruto (Kalenjin) are Nilotes.
“The Nilotes size each other up. The Nilotes Derby on 9th Aug 2022 will be one like no other. Good thing it will be home either way,” the football fanatic captioned a photo of Odinga exchanging pleasantries with Ruto during the 58th Jamhuri Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens, Nairobi, on Sunday.
However, Khalwale, a Bantu from the Luhya community, described the remarks as tribal.
He accused the legislator of belittling the support Ruto has received from other communities in his quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
“Kenyans will be voting for a Kenyan. Not a Nilote! Abandon this ethnic thing unless u want to reverse the huge gains we have made for William Ruto in the non-nilotic voting block,” said Khalwale, a close associate of Ruto.
A section of Kenyans joined the conversation accusing Cheruiyot of tribalism forcing the lawmaker to delete the tweet.
“Very true! We don’t subscribe to this, Aaron should apologize to the supporters of William Ruto. I am with you on this Boni,” said Wamboi Wangechi.
“I concur with you bonny! We ain’t voting for Ruto because of his tribe!” Ndung’u Karanja exclaimed.
“Senator Cheruiyot, you are a disgrace to Hustler nation, UDA and DP William Ruto. We are trying to kill tribal bigotry and you are re-energising it. Your tweet has undone some good progress, stop tweeting anyhow, go to the ground otherwise utapata nyaunyo,” said Brian Migosi.
Senator Cheruiyot @Aaroncheruiyot ,you are a disgrace to Hustler nation,UDA and DP William Ruto.We are trying to kill tribal bigotry and you are re-energising it.Your tweet has undone some good progress,stop tweeting anyhow,go to the ground otherwise utapata nyaunyo @KBonimtetezi
— Migosis (@migosi_brian) December 12, 2021
The senator is, however, yet to comment on the matter despite the pressure.