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Ruto criticized over Karen campaigns for Mariga

By Geoffrey Mosoku | October 10th 2019 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Deputy President William Ruto with Jubilee Kibra candidate McDonald Mariga when he hosted grassroots and other elected from Nairobi County. [Photo:DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto will continue meeting delegations for the Kibra by-election at his Nairobi official residence in spite of Tuesday’s chaos outside the compound.

Dr Ruto is expected to meet two more delegations next week as he continues hosting groups from various communities to woo support for Jubilee’s McDonald Mariga.

The DP was meant to meet a delegation from the Luo community, but it was pushed to next week.

“The meetings will be held next week, the DP is today busy holding meetings on State matters,” deputy spokesperson Emmanuel Talam said.

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Ruto has so far met delegations from the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Kamba, Kisii and Luhyia communities, and is expected to meet the Luo and Nubian next.

Yesterday, University of Nairobi lecturer Herman Manyora castigated the DP for promoting “tribal politics” at a time the country is seeking unity.  

He argued that some of those trooping to his residence went there with the belief that they would get money, adding that events at the DP’s residence might provide fertile ground for election nullification.

State resources

“We must fight the culture of tribal segmentation. Besides, this is in complete violation of the law by using State resources to influence voters. That’s official residence, just like State House,” Mr Manyora said.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati said Ruto was unable to campaign in Kibra and thought the people were poor and could be manipulated by going to his residence to pick handouts.

“At the end of the day, he will be surprised that he has not been meeting genuine voters. We are telling our people to troop there and eat,” said Mr Arati.

The MP cited the Tuesday meeting at the DP’s residence, with elected leaders from Kisii and Nyamira Counties accompanied by a delegation of the community residing in Nairobi. Arati said the leaders might have gone there with people who did not vote in Kibra.

Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir, who is spearheading the Kibra campaigns, defended the delegations to Karen, saying Ruto could meet any group of Kenyans any time. “Is it illegal to belong to a tribe? The fact is that we are 42 tribes in the country and if one community organises itself to meet the DP, is there any illegality? These are Kenyans who are meeting to discuss development. The other day I saw Raila meeting the Gema community, is that illegal?” Korir posed. Already, residents of Karen have raised security concerns over the huge number of people trooping to Ruto’s residence following Tuesday’s chaotic incident that saw a fence brought down.

In one of the WhatsApp groups, pictures were shared with captions warning residents to approach the Fair Acres road with caution.  

But yesterday, Mr Talam scoffed at those complaining, saying he did not know it was a crime for Ruto to host his neighbours from Kibra at his posh residence. “Our sincere apology to those offended. Our sincere apology to the residents of Karen, who are offended by the noise of DP Ruto’s Kibra neighbours visiting his residence in Karen. One day they will live in Karen and won’t make noise,” he said in a tweet.

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