Differences between Deputy President William Ruto and powerful Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang'i have escalated to Gusii region, the home of the latter just over three years to 2022 polls.

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Since March last year, Matiang'i, who had declared support for Ruto, has substantially drifted away with the country's second in command, realigning himself to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga's Handshake team.

For the last one year, Ruto has had a combined 20 trips to Nyamira and Kisii Counties, an indication that he's keen to bag over 1.3 million projected votes from the populous region.

Besides majority of MPs being on his camp, Ruto has entrusted South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro and Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi to run his campaigns. Chair of Gusii MPs caucus Joash Nyamoko also leads from Nyamira side.

"They will try to change the constitution, they will bring in the issues of corruption but nobody will sway us from you. As Abagusii community, we know you mean well to us and we will never let you down," Maangi said when Ruto visited last month for fundraiser at Gusii Stadium.

But another camp led by Senator Sam Ongeri and his Nyamira counterpart Okong'o Mogeni, has expressed gratitude to President Uhuru Kenyatta for elevating Dr Matiang'i. They are lobbying to have him run for a national seat.

At a funeral in North Mugirango in March, Senator Ongeri bashed MPs in Ruto's camp, insisting that only Matiang'i was at a position to help them lobby for development projects.

"I have seen some people running with someone in villages but whatever they launch never materialises. It's time now to work with our son. He is at the position to help us initiate development projects," he said.

Over the weekend, Mr Antony Kibagendi, a close aide of Dr Ruto, accused Matiang'i of doing little to help much anticipated Gusii Sevens Rugby tournament. But in a rejoinder, Jubilee youth leader Brian Mamboleo, accused Kibagendi of peddling 'petty politics'.

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