By Majid Cheptik
The election of William Samoei Ruto as new Kenya’s president has been received with excitement among the Sebei community in eastern Uganda.
Ruto’s victory means a lot to regional integration but most importantly for strong ties between Uganda and Kenya due to cross border ethnic bond of the Kalenjin people. They see Ruto’s achievement as one of the greatest amongst their own and look forward to good representation to the people of Kenya and East Africa.
The Sabin and Pokot community in Uganda share roots with the Kalenjin ethic groups among whom Kenya’s president elect Samoei Ruto hails. Ruto’s victory has been received with excitement across the s three districts of Bukwo, Kween and Kapchorwa. In Kenya, the Kalenjin stretch from Eldoret to Tranzio.
Mwanga Michael a resident of Kapchorwa Municipality says “we don’t believe in ethnicity but we have belonging too, as Kalenjin, that is our person and we are happy. Like Mwanga many Sabin believe that Ruto’s victoy is good for regional intergaration. “It means big things to us in terms of Business, we have been transacting with Kenya where we sale our maize.”
Kapchemweny Joseph a businessman says Ruto’s victory is victory for the entire Kalengin race who in his view were unpopular on the global scene. He helped to reunite the people of Sebei with President Museveni in 2018 when his support was on the decline in the region. “He came talked to us from Bukwo to Kserem and we accepted, we gave our president 100% because of this Ruto man”
“That is the man we liked, we did not sleep. We are now entering the map of other people, because the Sabinyi were backward, but now we are known. The other time our sons and daughters did us proud when they won gold medals in global athletics championship. Now we have another champion in Kenya, the President Samoei Ruto. Now we are with people.” said Kapchemweny.
Rotich Simba, the Kapchorwa business community chairperson, believes Ruto’s win will improve the relationship between Uganda and Kenya. This will strengthen the East African community since the Kenyan president has his own people in Uganda. He says, “We shall have indirect benefits because as we cross borders they will know these are Kalenjins who have a community in Uganda and we shall be doing business.”
Peter Kiti coordinated Kenyan business community in Uganda that supports Ruto to go and vote. He is a strong supporter because, “Ruto is one of us. He has been has been in touch with the Sabin. We feel we have one of our own in leadership. We feel we are more blessed because we now subscribe to two state houses, in Kampala and Nairobi.”
He trusts that, “Now that our son is the president, it is going to make business more easy including among other benefits such as education and job opportunities. So we as sabins we are very happy we are very proud of his victory as Sebei in Uganda and as a whole in East Africa.”