Deputy President William Ruto is planning to take the political battle to Raila Odinga’s doorstep.
The DP is planning to visit Raila’s to visit the ODM leader’s traditional strongholds – Kisumu and Migori counties.
William Ruto’s tour is tentatively planned for next week but the preparation for the rally began in earnest Monday with a visit by a delegation of select people from the region – Siaya, Kibra, and Kisumu.
The delegation that visited Ruto was led by Eliud Owalo who joined the “team hustler” ahead of the 2022 presidential polls.
“We will take Ruto everywhere in Nyanza and I can assure you he will get votes when elections are held,” Owalo said.
Nyanza has been Raila Odinga’s traditional stronghold over the years but it remains to be seen if Ruto can pull some votes from the region.
In Kisumu, Ruto is planning to grace church function and dish out some goodies to the youth and women groups.
While in Migori, Ruto will visit areas where he has enjoyed some support and show support for embattled Governor Okoth Obado who is on brink of being ousted by ODM.
On Monday, Kuria MP Mathias Robi said “the region is demanding for DP Ruto and they have petitioned that they want him in Nyanza”.
“The 2022 election will be defined not by tribal-based politics but the haves and the have nots. People in Migori are unhappy with the way the governor is being frustrated by ODM and that is why they are asking for a meeting with Ruto,” Robi told The Star.
Both Ruto and Raila are viewed as the front-runners in the presidential race come 2022.
In what is seen as shaping up to be a game of numbers, Ruto has switched attention to four regions that have traditionally voted for Raila.
Nyanza, Coast, Nairobi, and Western are on Ruto’s focusing while also trying to make inroads in President Uhuru’s backyard, Mt. Kenya region.
In the last two weeks, both Ruto and Raila have pitched camps on the Coast. Ruto who has fashioned his campaigns as competition between “hustlers” verses the “dynasties” was last week in Kisii county – a region perceived as Raila’s stronghold.
Ruto last visited Luo Nyanza in December 2018 when he shared a podium with both Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Speaking at his Karen home during a meeting with leaders from the Luo and Luhya communities, Ruto dismissed politicians claiming Uhuru wants to extend his term in office.
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The DP said the President is a firm believer in the principles of democracy and would not condone such a proposal saying such misinformation was causing unnecessary confusion among Kenyans.
“I do not think President Kenyatta has told anyone that he wants his term extended. So, where are these people getting all this information?”Ruto said.
He called for transparency and inclusivity in talks about constitutional amendments asking leaders spearheading for the referendum not to force or threaten Kenyans to support the proposals.
“As we discuss the Constitution, let us treat all Kenyans equally. Let us not have cards under the table.”