Ruto takes 2022 battle to Raila’s Nyanza backyard

Anthony Mwangi, George Odiwuor and DPPS @PeopleDailyKe

Deputy President William Ruto yesterday toured ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in what is seen as part of his efforts to win over opposition strongholds.

The visit comes a few days after he hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila at his official residence in Karen for lunch.

Ruto’s Nyanza tour also comes on the heels of a visit by Kanu leader Gideon Moi who visited Homa Bay last week and pledged to work with Raila. The Baringo senator is a critic of the DP and a possible competitor in the 2022 polls.

The DP’s tour of Migori and Homa Bay counties was his first since the 2017 General Election. In Migori, Governor Okoth Obado led locals in welcoming him.

But all local MPs, except Karachunyo MP Adipo Okuome, boycotted the tour. Several MPs, including Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, Okuome, Ongondo Were (Kasipul), Anthony Oluoch (Mathare) and Lilian Gogo (Rangwe) had accompanied Moi during his tour.

The Deputy President said the tour was to promote government projects and agenda. He told politicians to desist from statements that are likely to divide the country along political lines. He said the country had just emerged from a charged political atmosphere and it would be irresponsible for politicians to stoke up emotions.

“We just voted recently. Why would some people put Kenyans in a mood that appears as if we are voting the next day?” Ruto asked.

He said the unity deal between Uhuru and Raila should be embraced by all.  “The handshake should be the start of the end of petty politics and infighting in our country,” he said.

Coast allies

Obado supported Ruto’s remarks, saying Kenyans expect service delivery, not divisive politics. Ruto has been making frequent visits to Western and Coast regions where he has won the backing of several local leaders, including legislators.

In the Coast region, MPs who were elected on opposition tickets have since declared their support for the DP’s presidential ambitions in 2022.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Msambweni counterpart Suleiman Dori are leading the DP’s camp in the region. In Western Kenya, Ruto has made similar inroads, winning the support of many sitting and former legislators.

Yesterday in Migori, Ruto called on leaders to focus on serving the public instead of engaging in endless political rivalry.

“This is not the time to discuss who is in Nasa or Jubilee. As elected leaders, whether in Nasa or Jubilee, this is the time to unite so that we can serve Kenyans,” he said.

During the tour, he commissioned several projects including the Masara-Suna-Kehancha and Awendo-Mariwa-Oyani roads.

“The government will begin the construction of Masara-Sori road by December. Work will also start soon on the Isibania-Kisii-Migori to boost commerce in the region,” he said.

In addition, he said the government would spend Sh1.2 billion to connect 25,000 households in Migori county with electricity and another Sh150 million will be used to upgrade and equip Migori Hospital.

“We have connected 30,000 households to power in the last five years under the Last Mile Project. Our long-term plan is to intensify power connectivity to help businesses thrive,” said Ruto.

Earlier, Ruto toured the Tom Mboya Level VI Hospital in Rusinga Island in Mbita Constituency, where he said the national government would support the expansion of the facility to the tune of Sh20 million.

Ruto also launched the upgrading to bitumen standard of the 67-kilometre Kadel-Alara-Pala-Kanyadhiang’ Centre-Kilusi-Opanga-Ramba Road in Karachuonyo Constituency, expected to be completed by June 2020.

In Homa Bay, he said youths should engage in gainful activities and avoid being abused in pushing interests of selfish politicians.

“You are the engines of development. That is why we are determined to boost your capacity by setting up technical training colleges in all constituencies in Kenya. We expect you to make use of those skills in helping the government implement its development agenda,” he said while addressing wananchi in Karachuonyo Constituency.

In Karachuonyo, Okuome asked the DP to consider completing the multi million Kimir-Ouch irrigation project started 20 years ago in his constituency.desti impore est fugia sum volorpo ribusam destotatur aris modi andi adi ommodi saperum consequis et optat licium utet, tempori busape liciis esequae voles vere, sequam ut labo. Sed untia pari autEquo moloris tionem. Nam, quam eum fugita vellabo rerrorruptis eosamus unt aut optas eaquae magnatur?

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