SECTIONS

Ruto woos Western, says he’ll beat Raila

Deputy President William Ruto addressing Kenyans during a UDA rally at Logiri market in Nambale, Busia County on January 5, 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has expressed confidence of winning the presidential election in August and go on to serve two terms.

Ruto, who spoke in Nambale Constituency yesterday, said: "The odds are in my favour as my detractors, including Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, are slowly and surely giving in to the force of my candidacy."

“He (Atwoli) used to tell you that I would not be on this year’s presidential ballot papers and as things look like, I will be there and beat my opponent early in the morning then they will find another excuse. In 2027, I will win yet again and who knows, they may now start saying I will not inherit the kingdom of heaven,” said Ruto.

The DP, who is pitching tent in Western Kenya for the next one week, took his bottom-up economic model campaigns to Busia County where he addressed a series of political meetings.

He has been on a charm offensive in an attempt to water down the effects of the Bukhungu ll meeting held in Kakamega where ODM chief Raila Odinga was endorsed as the region’s favourite candidate on December 31.

Ruto downplayed the narrative of the existence of a deep state hell-bent to steal his votes.

Ruto urged residents of Busia to ignore those talking ill about his presidential prospects and assured his supporters that no one will steal votes cast in his favour.

“I am the DP and I sit in the so-called deep state. What other deep state are people talking about?” he posed.

Ruto termed Raila's fifth stab at the presidency as that engineered by the rich for the rich.

“Listen to me, if we don’t stop the rich they will even invade our homes and take our wives. The vote for the rich is not superior to that of a vegetable vendor in this location,” he told a crowd at Musokoto, Nambale.

He went on: “There is no way that 50 people sitting at a hotel in Nairobi can plan to give the poor, a president. Is that logical? Shall we decide on our own who our presidential candidate will be or the rich will do it for us?”

He cautioned that Raila's first assignment would be to “mutilate the constitution and muzzle other arms of government to suit the rich" if elected president.

The DP called on the people of Busia, who overwhelmingly voted for Raila and NASA in the last elections, to try UDA this year.

“In 2017, I was here with Uhuru Kenyatta campaigning for Jubilee and you gave us votes and even prayed for us. But you gave us so little votes but your prayers worked for we formed government,” he said. “This time pray and also vote for me.”

ODM scooped the majority of parliamentary seats in Busia, five out of seven, as ANC snatched away two.

ODM also won in 18 wards out of the 35 in the border county. Jubilee walked out almost empty-handed only securing a single ward seat.

In December when he celebrated Christmas in Budalang’i, Raila thanked them for overwhelmingly voting for him in successive elections as their “own son”.

The former prime minister further promised to revolutionalise Busia’s blue economy under the Azimio roadmap and protect Kenyan fishermen who faced constant harassment from Ugandan authorities in Lake Victoria, if elected.

Foreign Affairs CAS Ababu Namwamba who accompanied Ruto termed the DP a political beast.

“In 2017, I begged you to back Ruto and Uhuru but you mocked us yet they formed government. I now know that someone is waiting on the edges to have a handshake with Ruto after he forms government this year,” said Ababu.

The former Budalang’i MP added that Ruto ensured Busia Sugar was operationalised and that he has been instrumental at trying to revive western Kenya's fallen giant, Mumias Sugar.

“Ruto will revive the sugar economy as he has been instrumental in pushing for the revival of Mumias just that cartels eat every cash channeled to Mumias,” said the CAS who lost the Budalang’i seat to ODM’s Raphael Wanjala in the last elections.

Ruto toured Busia a day after visiting Kakamega and Bungoma counties.

He visited Changara area in Teso North constituency, Musokoto and Bulanda in Nambale, Adungosi in Teso South, Murumba in Butula, Bukiri in Funyula then Budalang'i market in Budalang'i constituency.