William Ruto moves campaign team from Karen home to UDA's head office

United Democratic Alliance Party Offices in Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has scaled down political activities at his official residence in Karen and will instead hold meetings at UDA’s head office.

According to insiders, Ruto will also hold political activities at the UDA offices in Lavington and at an office along Ngong Road.

The insiders say the DP is seeking to avoid a situation where he will be accused of using State resources when official campaign starts. Already, Dr Ruto has scaled down political operations at his official residence and will cease using it for political activities after Sunday.

Section 14 of the Election Offences Act 2016 outlaws the use of public resources for campaigns. His political advisers had cautioned that running campaigns from his home would give his opponents fodder for political accusations.

In the past four years, the deputy president’s Karen residence has been the centre of high political activities, where Ruto has hosted hundreds of delegations at the expansive 10-acre home.

During his first term, Dr Ruto gave the house a wide berth. He lived at his private home a few kilometres away. He moved into the home in 2015 and made it his political power base alongside his village residence at Sugoi in Uasin Gishu.

Already, the offices along Ngong Road have been equipped and ready to host the Hustler presidential campaign centre alongside UDA’s Hustler centre. The DP has in the past denied conducting campaigns, arguing that the campaign period has not been sanctioned. 

His allies said that after campaigns officially start on Sunday, the vote-rich Mt Kenya region will be Dr Ruto’s “next home” as he seeks the region’s 4.5 million votes.

“In our plan, we want to lock in over 80 per cent of the region. We have the messaging and wherewithal to achieve that,” said an insider.

In the 2017 elections, President Uhuru Kenyatta got 92 per cent of votes from Mt Kenya, which helped him win.    

Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said they were targeting 90 per cent in the region and will not leave anything to chance.

“We have been on the ground for some time now, and we will continue to camp in the region and sell our message of hope to the people, who have been neglected by one of their own,” said Nyoro.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said the Rift Valley will vote for the DP and together with the changing tide in Western and the Coast, victory was in sight for Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

“Away from Mt Kenya and Rift Valley, other regions are joining the alliance and by end of July, Azimio will be trailing,” said Mr Koech.

Dr Ruto hopes to reap from mobilisation of voters by the respective candidates in Mt Kenya from the rival parties.

For instance, in Kiambu County, governor aspirants Kimani Wamatangi (UDA), Moses Kuria of Chama Cha Kazi, Tujibebe’s William Kabogo, all in Kenya Kwanza coalition, are facing off.

In Western, co-founders of Kenya Kwanza Alliance, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula will mobilise votes from the region.

The duo is also set to be restricted to campaign in Western to deliver 70 per cent of votes for the August 9 presidential race.

In his political yard of the Rift Valley, his troops from governor candidates to civic ward level, have been tasked to rally supporters to turn out in large numbers and vote.

“We target in his strongholds more than 95 per cent win if not more,” a source said of the final strategy.