Douglas Dindi and DPPS @PeopleDailyKe
Some leaders from Western Kenya have backed William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, saying he is best suited to lead the country.
The more than 15 leaders said Ruto’s past performance in the Higher Education and Agriculture ministries was testimony enough that he can lead Kenya to the next level.
Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, MPs Malulu Injendi (Malava), Justus Murunga (Matungu), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), John Waluke (Sirisia), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), among others, spoke yesterday in Malava and Mumias East constituencies in Kakamega county where they accompanied Ruto for interdenominational prayers.
They said the Deputy President is also known for initiating development projects throughout the country.
Injendi said Western region can no longer afford to be divided and suffer in the political cold. “This time around, we have to get it right by being at the centre of the formation of the next government. And the surest route to that is supporting the Deputy President. That way we will develop,” he said.
Injendi said calls for Western communities to unite and support their fellow Luhya is a tired line with no goodwill and numbers to back it.
His sentiments were supported by Barasa and Moses Mabonga (Bumula), who said only Ruto has the focus and energy to transform Kenya.
“It is a fact we are not strong enough to have our own presidential candidate. That is why we must rally behind someone with our interests at heart,” said Mabonga. Washiali said Ruto had demonstrated his ability through hard work and initiating development projects.
He said the DP is also a loyal leader while Elsie Muhanda (Kakamega Woman Rep) said although she’s an ODM party member, she supports Ruto because of his development record, especially in infrastructural development and education.
At the same time, some leaders including Ford-K deputy party leader Boni Khalwale, MPs Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Barasa, Dan Wanyama, Waluke (Sirisia), and Injendi accused Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula of being a political turncoat.“Let’s not lie to each other.
At night we dine with the DP and during the day we sing Nasa. Unfortunately, I blame the DP for anchoring the narrative that Luhyas have no leader. On Mashujaa Day, he allowed Raila Odinga to speak on behalf of the community,” Khalwale said.
Khalwale claimed the current Luhya presidential aspirants lack the mettle to wrestle for the seat and must support the DP if they hope to revive their political careers.
Waluke accused ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Devolution Cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa of being a stumbling block to Luhya unity.
While calling for unity among Kenyans, Ruto urged youths to exploit the opportunities offered by the government to enrich their skills.
He said all students joining technical training colleges will no longer pay fees as the government would pay up to Sh30,000 yearly and offer them loans. “We are growing the capacity of the youth so that they can help us push for the realisation of the Big Four agenda,” he said.
The Deputy President said the government was working to find lucrative markets for alternative cash crops to save farmers from maize, sugarcane, coffee and tea farming only.
To realise this, he said he would work with leaders from various regions in the country. “Our focus is to ensure that no place in Kenya is left behind in terms of development. But we must change from divisive and tribal politics. Let it be competitive but for the betterment of the country,” he said.