Deputy President William Ruto is not relenting on his hunt for Coast support.
Yesterday, the DP was yet again at the Opposition stronghold, where he has already courted and won the hearts of several ODM legislators.
Accompanied by ODM MP Aisha Jumwa and Coast Parliamentary Group Chairman Suleiman Dori and other legislators in his tour of Kwale County, Ruto told his rivals not to be scared by his overtures to leaders from diverse political backgrounds as it was simply meant to accelerate development.
“Some leaders should not be scared of the ongoing unity and teamwork among Jubilee and Opposition leaders because we are embracing all Kenyans whether they voted for us or not,” Ruto said at Vanga grounds in Kwale County.
Ms Jumwa, once a leading light within the Opposition, said Coast leaders were simply embracing the handshake that was initiated by President Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga.
“I am working with Ruto because my party leader Raila Odinga embraced handshake with President Kenyatta. He (Raila) said it’s over; its water under the bridge, we need to work together and focus on the future. That’s what we are doing and there should be no problem with this,” said the Malindi MP.
She said Coast leaders have resolved to support the Government as the only way to address the challenges facing the people.
“We are tired of leaders engaging in empty rhetoric at the expense of development. That’s why we want to work with those who are committed to solving problems facing our people,” Jumwa said.
Dori said they will continue to work with the Government for the sake of development in the region.
Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani said the development tours that were being done by the Deputy President were not different from the ones he did between 2013 and 2017.
Kilifi North’s Owen Baya asked Coast residents to change tack. “We have to organise our house as Coast people so that we can be part and parcel of the next Government,” he said.
The DP said it was his constitutional duty to help the President in implementing the Government’s agenda, especially the promises they made to Kenyans during the last General Election.
Ruto’s forays across the country have been perceived to be outright campaigns ahead of 2022 and has threatened to split the Jubilee Party.
“What I am doing is what I was elected to do and I wonder why some people are complaining. I have not complained about other peoples work,” Ruto said.
Ruto has in recent months set up camp in Coastal Kenya, a vote-rich region, saying he is only doing what Kenyans elected him to do.
Yesterday, the DP warned chiefs and their assistants that they risk arrest if they do not ensure all parents in their areas take their children to school.
“We have invested a lot of resources in the sector and parents should take advantage of the situation,” said Ruto.