My 2022 journey gained momentum after Msambweni win, says DP Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto greets Msambweni residents after addressing a public rally at Ukunda in Kwale County on December 31, 2020. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has said Independent Candidate, Feisal Bader, win in the recent Msambweni by-election has bolstered his march to State House in 2022.

Addressing a public rally at Ukunda on Thursday, Ruto described Bader’s win as a new awakening in the country’s politics, saying Msambweni voters rejected politics of blackmail, ethnicity, threats and intimidation to elect a leader of their choice.

“The journey towards 2022 has gained momentum. I want to thank the Msambweni people for electing Feisal. This is a new awakening for the people of Kenya.

"You have refused to be sold ethnicity, politics of divisions, chest-thumping, threats and political party dominance. You have broken a new record in Kenya’s politics,” he said.

The DP said this yesterday during the celebrations of Mr Bader's win at Dr Babla secondary school grounds in Diani, Kwale County.

Accommodative government

The celebration was attended by Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, his Turkana counterpart Josphat Nanok, more than 20 MPs and several senators including nominated senator Issac Mwaura.

Ruto said he will form a government that will accommodate more Kenyans into the economy as opposed to the current situation where the economy was in the hands of a few.

He said the economy was ailing because 16 million Kenyans who could make meaningful contribution were poor and were in need of government support.

“I intend to form a government where more Kenyans will be brought on board to contribute to economic growth unlike the current situation where the economy is in the hands of a few people,” he said.

Ruto who pledged to contribute Sh.3 million towards buying a bus for the local school, said he would conduct a fundraiser for boda boda operators as part of his hustler nation programme.

Mr Feisal garnered 15,251 votes against ODM’s Omar Boga in the December 15 by-election to replace former MP Suleiman Dori.

During the celebration, former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and senator Mwaura said they have joined the hustler nation movement.

Ruto promised to work closely with Feisal, Governor Mvurya and several Coast MPs in his bid to win the presidential race in 2022.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and his Kilifi North counterpart Owen Baya declared that Mvurya would lead a yet to be unveiled political party for coast people.

According to the duo, the party will be affiliated to Dr Ruto and will be used as a vehicle to negotiate at the national table for the interests of Coast people.

“We are asking Governor Mvurya to spearhead the coast political party that we intend to unveil soon and use it as a vehicle to negotiate power at the national level ahead of 2022. This is because we know that one party cannot win power and form the government,” she said.

Baya said the proposed party was intended to bring the six counties of Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Taita Taveta and Tana River together to form a major voting bloc.

“We want to bring the six coastal counties under the leadership of Mvurya. We want to revolutionise Coast region,” Baya said.

Mvurya, however, did not comment on the offer to lead the political party but vowed to intensify the campaign for Ruto saying the Msambweni poll outcome has shown the political direction Coast region was taking.

“There is no room for rhetoric. People want services as opposed to propaganda. Dr Ruto and I are already at the grassroots with the people and we are making progress,” he said.

Expanding influence

Since December 26, Dr Ruto has been in Coast where he has ratcheted up his onslaught against Orange Democratic (ODM) leader Raila Odinga at the Coast.

The DP has been meeting several delegations from different parts of the Coast at his Kisima Farm in Taveta. Yesterday he went to Kwale just a day after Raila had met ODM delegates.

Raila was in Diani on Wednesday for a postmortem on what transpired in the Msamwebi by-election which saw the party's candidate, Omar Bogo, loses to Bader.

Raila said the party has identified several gaps that led to its poor performance in December 15 min poll. “I will however not share those issues with the press,” said Raila.

We also established the ODM meeting turned stormy after leaders from Kwale accused their counterpart from Mombasa of hijacking the campaign and sidelining them.

“We went into the campaign divided. We informed baba (Raila) how we were sidelined and starved resources by the team from Mombasa,” said an ODM leader from Kwale.

Yesterday it appeared that Ruto was keen to capitalise on the internal rifts in ODM to gain or expand his influence in the region regarded as the Orange party's stronghold.

Attacks on Uhuru

Sonko accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of putting the Nairobi County under the leadership of Kenya Defence Force before kicking him out of leadership.

“Because of respect for the President, I gave half of my responsibility to him and he still came back and removed me from office,” said Sonko.

The DP defended President Uhuru from Sonko and his allies’ attacks saying "my boss deserved respect".

“I know some people have lost their positions or have been frustrated but they must respect the President at all times,” Ruto cautioned.