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DP William Ruto Kisii tours elicit debate on 2022 polls

By Erick Abuga | November 20th 2018
Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and Deputy President William Ruto at Nyabiore Primary School in Bomachoge Borabu, Kisii County (Sammy Omingo, Standard)

Deputy President William Ruto has visited seven constituencies in Gusii region in the past one month.

During his visits, Ruto has commissioned technical training institutions and roads. He also presided over harambees for various education institutions and churches.

He was in Kitutu Chache North, Bomachoge Borabu and Bobasi on Saturday, the only constituencies, out of nine, that he had not visited in the past 30 days.

Ruto appears to be enjoying good working relations with several MPs from Nyamira and Kisii counties, a region perceived to be an opposition stronghold.

Proposed projects

Several MPs have been accompanying Ruto to various functions in the region.

However, Ruto’s critics accuse him of personalising Government-funded projects. They are also questioning whether the proposed projects are catered for in the budget.

ODM national treasurer Timothy Bosire challenged Ruto to explain how these projects will be funded.

“Work is yet to start on most of the projects the deputy president has commissioned. He should understand that Government projects can never be undertaken by an individual. He is only doing this to gain political capital ahead of the 2022 General Election,” said Bosire.

He also took issue with Ruto’s pronouncement that those whose land will be taken to pave way for the proposed Bunyunyu Dam will be compensated.

“Ruto is busy talking about the dam yet no clear guidelines on compensation have been issued. Let him make public the number of people to be compensated and the amount of money each will receive. He should also explain the scope of the project to the people,” said Bosire.

Nakuru West MP Samuel Arama asked the deputy president to state his plans for the Gusii community.

“The region has experienced leaders we can front for high political offices. In as much as we support the DP, we need assurance on our position in his administration if he wins,” said Arama.

He added: “Ruto had better speak now or we will have no option but to front one of our own to face him and the rest of the candidates in 2022.”

However, the DP’s supporters in the region said the projects have nothing to do with 2022 politics.

While launching the projects, Ruto has repeatedly told residents to change their voting pattern.

Seek handouts

His point men, Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, MPs Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Alfa Miruka (Bomachoge Chache) and Ezekiel Machogu (Nyaribari Masaba), said Ruto’s visits to the region have always been on development and not 2022 politics.

“I will always speak the truth no matter what. I am not a poor man to seek handouts from the DP. The fact that the DP and I have developed a working relationship should not be a problem to anyone,” said Maangi.

Osoro said Ruto does not want to sideline any leader from the region as he seeks to become the next president.

“I have no apologies for being his point man. I will be happy to see Ruto win the presidency, even if I lose my seat,” Osoro said.

He added: “We have come together because we have a common agenda, to develop the areas we represent.”  

“We support Ruto because of his consistency and seriousness in ensuring all areas are developed.

“We are moving in the right direction. We remain united unless some people who have been preoccupied with the fear of the unknown begin their usual in-fighting,” said Muka.

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