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Choose Kalonzo at your own risk, Ruto tells Raila

Deputy President William Ruto has said he does not understand why Opposition leader Raila Odinga is bitter with him, yet they have never contested against each other.

Ruto told Raila to blame his associates for his failure to ascend to Presidency and claimed that should the ODM leader pick former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate in the 2017 polls, he will lose again.

The Deputy President said he supported Raila in 2007 but he lost to former President Kibaki and that the former premier had also lost the 2013 contest to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The DP reminded his audience that it is the violence in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 polls that saw him hauled to the International Criminal Court where he is on trial for alleged crimes against humanity.

“I have nothing against my brother Raila. I supported him in 2007 until I was taken to The Hague where I am still facing charges up to now. Who has ever sacrificed like I did?” Ruto posed amidst cheers from the crowd.

The DP chose Raila’s backyard in Siaya, where he presided over a fundraiser at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, to revisit his long-running feud with Raila, who recently stepped up the pressure on him over the Weston Hotel.

Ruto said Raila should instead blame his close associates, including Kalonzo for his failure to ascend to Presidency. The DP said jokingly that he only contested against Kalonzo, whom he declared he beat overwhelmingly in the last polls.

In 2013, Uhuru and Ruto ran under a joint Jubilee ticket while Raila and Kalonzo vied under the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy(CORD).

Ruto warned the former Premier against picking Kalonzo as his running mate in 2017, when President Kenyatta will seek re-election, saying it would lead to another loss.

He added that he is counting on Raila’s backing in 2022 when he hopes to succeed President Kenyatta.

“I will contest for Presidency in 2022 and I am only giving Raila and Uhuru the last chance in 2017. Should my brother choose Kalonzo as his running mate, we will beat them again,” said Ruto.

Hustler’s visit

He added he would go back to Bondo to request Raila’s backing for his bid for Presidency in 2022, saying he expects former PM to support him, just like he backed him in 2007.

The Deputy President said irrespective of who voted for Jubilee, their government would initiate projects across the country.

Ruto, who is on a two-day visit to Siaya and Kisumu, had a bag of goodies worth Sh1.3 billion for road projects, learning institutions and hospitals.

He said the Government would dole out Sh300 million for the expansion of the Bondo Technical Training Institute at Ratiya in Bondo sub-county. Another Sh425 million will go to the Siaya Referral hospital while Sh380 million will be allocated to Bondo Hospital to improve the health facilities.

“As a way of improving the status of learning institutions in Siaya, we will construct two new technical institutes in Ugunja and Ugenya this year to a tune of Sh100 million each,” said Ruto.

He also stated that State would tarmac 150km of roads in Siaya, starting this year.

He also said the Government would lay a pipe from River Yala to Bondo town to end the perennial water shortage in the region.

The DP also visited Bondo Diocese Anglican Church Bishop Johannes Angela’s home in Majiwa before heading to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology for a church service and later to Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura’s home in Maranda for lunch.

Apart from Obura, Ruto was accompanied by Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Mary Emase (Teso South), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), David Were (Matungu) and former Minister for Foreign Affairs Raphael Tuju.

Ruto conducted a fundraiser for the construction of the seven-storey shopping mall owned by the Anglican Church of Kenya. He insisted that the Government’s commitment to spread development throughout the country should not be misconstrued to be targeting Opposition zones.

“I came here when I was a hustler, but now I am the boss, meaning the DP, and you people of Bondo are all my people. So, let us unite for a better Kenya,” said Ruto.

He urged leaders from the region to consult with him more often on development.

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