Inside William Ruto's four-day tour of Nyanza

President William Ruto addresses crowd in Homa Bay during tour of Nyanza region in January 2023. [File, Standard]

President William Ruto is set to begin a four-day tour of Nyanza region tomorrow, Friday, October 6.

Ruto will visit Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya and Migori counties during his time there, launching various development projects and meeting with the locals.

“During the tour, President Ruto will also engage with the residents of the region, meet farmers, and interact with local leaders,” State House spokesperson Hussein Mohammed said in a circular.

The visit will culminate in a Cabinet meeting at the Kisumu State Lodge in Kisumu County, chaired by the Head of State.

The meeting comes in the back of  changes to the Cabinet effected yesterday.

“This tour aims to launch various projects to enhance the residents' quality of life, aligning with the government's Bottom-Up Economic Transformation Agenda (BETA),” stated Hussein.

In Kisumu, Ruto will among other things commission the Lake Basin Mall, a retail and entertainment hub, meant to boost trade and growth in Kisumu and surrounding regions.

He will also launch the MV Uhuru 2, a ship that will operate on Lake Victoria.

The ship is meant to increase transportation, trade, and economic growth, “positioning the Nyanza region as a hub for maritime transport and logistics.”

In Homa Bay County, Ruto will launch the upgrading to the Bitumen standard of the 74km Mbita-Sindo-Kiabuya-Sori Road, whilst overseeing other development projects.

His Siaya visit will see him commission the construction of a Level 4 hospital in Ugenya constituency, which he terms “a vital step towards enhancing healthcare infrastructure in the region.”

The president will also launch the Last Mile water connectivity project at Kegonga, Kuria East, in Migori County, aimed at improving access to dean water.

This is  Ruto’s fourth visit to Nyanza region, since he was elected to office in August 2022.

Although tipped as a working tour, observers believe the move is part of a wider strategy to win over the hearts of the Nyanza political base and wrestle support from Raila Odinga.

Nyanza is largely viewed as Odinga’s backyard.