Ruto in Coast to meet Taita Taveta leaders

Deputy President William Ruto returns to the Coast today to try to consolidate his political support in a region widely regarded as an opposition stronghold.

This will be Dr Ruto’s first public meeting since Tuesday’s Cabinet changes that included the sacking of his ally, Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri.

President Uhuru Kenyatta made the changes from State House in Mombasa while Ruto (pictured) was on a private visit to Khartoum, Sudan.

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It is not clear whether Ruto will meet Uhuru, who has been in Mombasa since last month and is scheduled to meet all county commissioners and top security chiefs.

Ruto has invited all elected leaders in Taita Taveta for a meeting, but The Standard established last evening that MPs and ward representatives allied to ODM were under instructions not to attend.

The DP met Jubilee leaders last Friday in his Taveta farm, where the agenda involved laying strategies to win seats in party elections slated for March.

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Those at meet

The attendees included Taveta MP Naomi Shaban and Woman Rep Lydia Haika, members of the county assembly allied to the ruling coalition, and losers in the 2017 General Election.

SEE ALSO :Ruto: I’ll rather lose election than see Kenyans fight over politics

There were reports that before the meet, the deputy president had flown to Mombasa, where he was ejected from his official residence.

While details of this latest tour are scanty, the organisers say Ruto will address a leaders’ consultative meeting at the Sarova Taita Hills and Salt Lick lodges.

Ms Haika, a close ally, confirmed the DP’s visit but did not divulge details. “It is true that Dr Ruto will visit the county today. I will give you more details later,” she said.

County Spokesman Dennis Onsarigo, however, said he was not aware if Governor Granton Samboja had been invited to the meeting.

“I will consult with the governor. For now, I have not seen his diary,” said Mr Onsarigo.

SEE ALSO :Murkomen clashes with ODM leaders over BBI

Majority Leader Jason Tuja said that while his fellow ODM leaders had been invited, he could not say whether they would turn up. “I cannot confirm to you now if we will attend the meeting. If we will be there, you will see us,” he said.

Ruto has been making inroads in the region, causing anxiety and disquiet among opposition bigwigs.

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Deputy President William RutoCoastUhuru KenyattaODM