In his efforts to woo voters in Kisii County, Deputy President, William Ruto, camped in the ODM’s stronghold for three days to popularize his party United Democratic Alliance ( UDA).
Ruto was forced to forgo some of his plans to camp at the South Mugirango constituency rescheduling his rally to Daraja mbili in Kitutu Chache South constituency for next month.
Speaking to a local daily, UDA County Coordinator, Samwel Omwando, who was in Ruto’s convoy, said that Ruto’s party has been welcomed in the region warmly and his efforts are geared towards propelling him to State House next year.
“The party is gaining popularity in Kisii County. That is why the deputy president wants to consolidate his support ahead of the 2022 General Election” Omwando stated.
Ruto however faced major setbacks during his tour at Suneka market on Sunday after UDA’s and ODM’s youths clashed and UDA officials now fault their rivals for the hostility.
“Our rivals are desperate and that is why they are hiring few youths to try to disrupt our meetings to create the impression their party is strong,” Omwando noted.
The officials also maintained that Ruto, who supported Raila in 2007 before he joined President Uhuru Kenyatta under Jubilee Party in 2013 enjoys political support in the area contrary to the belief that it had waned after his fallout with the President.
Kisii ODM officials have however maintained that their party has traditional supporters and grassroots structures and it cannot be compared with the newcomers.
The official noted the party has embarked on massive recruitment wooing members with free nominations.
“The nominations will be competitive. We want to get the best candidates to enable the party to win the majority of the elective posts” Kerosi said.
David Omato, an expert in Strategic Management said it is necessary for Kisii community to have a political party in coalition with ODM to enhance its bargaining power once it forms the next government.
However, Nyabuto Onyambu, a human rights activist opposed the formation of a political party and instead appealed to leaders of parties in the community to form a coalition with ODM and propel Raila to power for the community to gain.
“It is late for the community to form a political party and popularize it ahead of the next general election. I prefer a coalition of parties to a new party” Onyambu noted.
He appealed to the leaders to unite and support a presidential candidate who has chances of winning the top seat for the community to be part of the next government to benefit.
The Deputy President’s tour in the county comes two months after Nyanza leaders; including Governor James Ongwae, Senator Prof. Sam Ongeri and Woman Representative, Janet Ong’era assembled at Sikri Technical Training Institute, Homabay County and endorsed Raila’s presidential quest.
Kisii has DECIDED.
DP @WilliamsRuto with Principals of The Hustler Nation ALLIANCE in their THOUSANDS in Kisii.
The Hustler Nation Assembly – KISII COUNTY.
There is space for Every One in the #HustlerNation Movement.
Not even the RAIN could stop DP Ruto. He braved the showers pic.twitter.com/Tsosl5TXGv
— Dennis Itumbi, HSC (@OleItumbi) October 3, 2021
The top county leaders are solidly behind and in a tweet, Governor Ongwae wrote; “The train left the station months back! Raila Odinga is our subject in which ‘WE’ like other communities declared and agreed to be partners. No more rhetorics!”
Gusii leaders remain divided with distrust of each other which has now turned into a political bargaining chip in a fight over the two parties likely to form the next government.