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DP William Ruto asks Rift Valley leaders to back President Uhuru with eye on 2022

By Daniel Psirmoi | Published Wed, January 11th 2017 at 00:00, Updated January 10th 2017 at 21:12 GMT +3
Deputy President William Ruto greets some of the leaders and aspirants at his Karen Office, Nairobi on 10th Jan ,2017. Mr Ruto told the meeting Jubilee Party will conduct fair nominations.

Deputy President William Ruto has pressed for the listing of the over 1.6 million unregistered voters in Rift Valley.

Speaking yesterday when he met elected leaders and aspirants from Rift Valley at his Karen home in Nairobi, Mr Ruto said the listing would help President Uhuru Kenyatta get re-elected in August.

The DP rallied them emphasising that the August victory would be a springboard for his quest to State House in 2022.

He said his prospects of succeeding Uhuru in 2022, as per the plan of the Jubilee Party, is largely dependent on how the region will vote in the August 8 General Election.

The Deputy President urged the politicians to ensure they stem the Opposition wave in the Rift Valley.

"You have a stake in the Jubilee government, and there is no other alternative party. You must rally your supporters to the last person to vote for President Kenyatta," he said at the meeting, which came a day after he clashed with Kanu leader and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi at the burial of politician Mark Too.

On Monday, during the burial ceremony for the former nominated MP, Ruto and Gideon locked horns before the President over the direction the community should take in this year's elections.

"We need political goodwill in 2022 after President Kenyatta finishes his second term. There is no way I will receive backing from other communities including the people of Central Kenya if we do not put all our votes in one basket," he added.

Ruto, who spoke largely in vernacular, read out the statistics of unregistered voters in the region to those present who included MPs, senators and governors, and those eyeing the same seats in the coming polls.

He said more than 1.6 million people were yet to register as voters in the Jubilee stronghold of Rift Valley and urged them to sensitise the public to list as voters, during the mass registration that begins next week.

According to the statistics, Kericho in the South Rift is the county with the highest number of unregistered voters; over 302,000.

Uasin Gishu County has 206,000 with Trans-Nzoia, Nandi, Baringo and Bomet having 168,000, 147,000, 116,000 and 112,000 eligible voters who are not on the roll respectively.

Narok County has the least number of unregistered voters as per the data with about 45,000, followed by Samburu (47,000), West Pokot (86,000) and Elgeyo Marakwet (98,000).

"These figures are grim, as politicians seeking re-election and those aspiring for positions in Jubilee Party, you have to do something. You must make sure these people are registered as matter of priority," he said.

Noting that it is for the interest of the aspiring leaders that more people be registered as voters, as they will vote for them, he emphasized that they must campaign for the re-election of President Kenyatta.

"As you campaign in your respective wards, constituencies or counties, you must mobilise the people to register so as to fully participate in the August elections," he added.

Ruto told the meeting, which was also attended by Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, that the government has put in place necessary measures to ensure peaceful elections in August, as in line with the Constitution.

The meeting also heard that 300,000 people in Rift Valley had no Identification Cards (IDs) and yet they were eligible voters. "It will be irresponsible for us to beg other communities to support us in 2022 and you have people who did not vote in 2017 for the candidates we all agreed need to be supported," observed Ruto.

He said the Jubilee administration was focused on the creation of jobs and wealth for the people.

"We are focusing our energies on the creation of jobs and wealth. This can only be achieved through improvement of roads, connection of electricity to homesteads, schools as well as providing human skills," he said.