Ruto was caught up in a scuffle at the governorâ€™s office, where he was spotted jostling among opposing supporters on Monday evening. Reports suggested that the scuffle ensued when former Governor, Isaac Ruto, was denied access to the governorâ€™s office where the Deputy President was meeting local leaders.
â€œOn behalf of the people of Bomet, I apologize to the Deputy President for the embarrassment we exposed him to,â€ stated the Governor.
â€œThis relates to the foolish competition we are having (with Isaac Ruto). Our people are not happy and some have even lined up demonstrations as a message to us,â€ added Barchok.
The Governor also claimed that youth wielding weapons had been sent to disrupt the meeting, but did not have their way as many supporters at the rally chose to be peaceful.
â€œWe are a peace-loving county. We havenâ€™t had any incidences and our commitment as a county government is to always maintain peace. I want to thank the people of Bomet who also resolved not to retaliate any attacks,â€ he stated.
It all started on Sunday, January 9, prior to DP Rutoâ€™s visit when supporters of Governor Barchok and those of Isaac Ruto clashed during preparations for the event, the bone of contention being who should organize, dictate and speak at the rally.
On the material day, the scuffle brewed further, when Governor Barchok was heckled off stage where he was the eventâ€™s master of ceremony. Majority Leader, Aden Duale, was also heckled, a reminiscence of a past spat he had with Isaac Ruto.
The events forced Deputy President William Ruto to take full control of the rally in a bid to calm the rising political temperatures.
At the rally, DP Ruto broke his silence on the alleged hate speech remarks made by his ally – Meru Senator, Mithika Linturi.
The prayer rally was also a chance for the rival Bomet leaders to not only test their political might but also publicly declare their August 2022 gubernatorial bids.
Governor Barchok is under pressure to retain his seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket. He will come up against Isaac Ruto, who became the first Governor of the lower rift county in 2013 before losing in 2017 to the late Joyce Laboso. Also in the race is Petroleum and Mining Chief Administrative Secretary, John Mosonik.