Uhuru has a right to campaign for Raila, DAP-K tells Ruto

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa with DAP-K brigade during a rally at Kiminini primary school in Trans-Nzoia County.

Politicians allied to the Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) has defended President Uhuru Kenyatta over his support for ODM leader Raila Odinga's presidential bid.

 Led by Wafula Wamunyinyi, the politicians on Monday said the head of State has a right to endorse a candidate of his choice, just like any other Kenyan.

Flanked by other leaders at Nyanturago Stadium in Kisii, the politicians said it is wrong for Deputy President William Ruto to castigate Uhuru for minding who will succeed him.

The politicians had attended an event where area senator Sam Ongeri launched his bid for Kisii governor on a DAP-K ticket against former Roads and Infrastructure Chief Administrative Secretary Chris Obure.

Others who are in the race include Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu, Woman Representative Janet Ong’era, former South Mugirango MPs Omingo Magara and Manson Oyongo.

Ms Rachel Otundo, Mr Charles Matoke, and Mr Alfred Nyangweso have also expressed interest in the county's top job.

DP Ruto who is seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta on an UDA ticket under Kenya Kwanza Alliance last week asked the president to remain neutral and allow him to face off with his opponent Raila.

But his said Uhuru had realised Raila is the best person to take the country forward after his retirement and he should not be condemned for making his choice.

"Uhuru wants the best for the country. He knows all leaders and can tell who is best suited to lead the country after him. He couldn't have been wrong in choosing Raila to take over as the next president,” said Eugene Wamalwa, Defence Cabinet Secretary.

Wamalwa said Uhuru’s endorsement of Raila is not unique to Kenya because many outgoing presidents all over the world have chosen their preferred successors.

"President Kenyatta has also made history by choosing to support a person who was his bitter rival in the past three elections as his successor. He must have seen great qualities in Raila Odinga to pick him. We are fully behind the president and Mr Odinga," said the CS.

His sentiments were echoed by Wamunyinyi who told Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to join the Azimio la Umoja without conditions.

"Kalonzo must accept that One Kenya Alliance died when Musalia and Wetang'ula left and joined Kenya Kwanza Alliance. Kalonzo should therefore accept any position that will be given to him when the coalition forms the next government. There will be many opportunities for leaders of all political parties in the coalition," said Wamunyinyi.

The politicians rallied the residents to elect Ongeri as their next governor saying he is best suited and qualified to take over from Governor James Ongwae as he retires.

"Prof Ongeri has served this country as an MP, ambassador, cabinet minister, and senator for the last 50 years. He is the best candidate to be the next governor of Kisii. That is why I am urging the people of Kisii to rally behind him in August," said Wamalwa.

In his sentiments, Ongeri said he will promote peace and unity in the county if elected as he called on residents to shun leaders who promote violence and divisions.

"None of my competitors in the Kisii governor race has the kind of experience that I have. I have done much for my country and my county for the last 50 years," said Ongeri.