A host of leaders allied to Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i on Thursday skipped DP William Ruto's Gusii trip, indicating the escalating differences between the two.
Dr Ruto and Matiang'i have been reading from different scripts in as many months now, with their deteriorating relationship well manifested in Gusii politics.
Recently, Dr Matiang'i blasted Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot at a function in Ikonge, accusing him of lying to the public over his alleged meeting with Ruto.
"I was brought up in strict Christianity principles. I don't lie to people. Cheruiyot you've openly lied to our people. There was no such meeting," he said.
Cheruiyot had claimed that Deputy President William Ruto saved Matiang'i from impeachment following the Ruaraka land scandal in January.
And on Thursday, Governors John Nyagarama and James Ongwae were notably absent from Kisii National Polytechnic graduation which Ruto graced.
Senators Okong'o Mogeni and Sam Ongeri, with Women Reps Janet Ong'era and Jerusha Momanyi also skipped, a move that paints Ruto's campaigns negatively.
In his speech, Dr Ruto said the goverment will invest on technical colleges, arguing that technical skills are fundamental for the growth of the economy.
"The goverment will continue expanding facilities (technical) across the country. These are areas which easily give opportunities to our youths," he said.
Thursday's trip was the 23rd to the populous region in the last 20 months, with sources indicating that Nyamira and Kisii have been identified as swing regions.
Although Dr Fred Matiang'i is yet to declare intentions to join politics, his allies have been pushing for the move. Governor Nyagarama in particular has endorsed him for presidency.