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William Ruto in bid to chip away at Raila Odinga's Coast support

Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

Emboldened by the “wheelbarrow” triumph in Kiambaa, Deputy President William Ruto stormed the Coast region declaring that he was ready to face-off with the grand coalition of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM Leader Raila Odinga in 2022.

Ruto arrived at the Coast, a stronghold of Raila, a day after registering victory in Uhuru’s political turf of Central Kenya when United Democratic Alliance’s John Wanjiku beat Kariri Njama of Jubilee.

He said Wanjiku’s victory was proof that the post-2022 government will comprise of the ‘hustler’ nation.

In Kilifi County, Ruto held two functions on Saturday and another in Mombasa saying that the Coast was no longer interested in politics of riddles and imaginary football matches, in a veiled attack on Raila’s brand of politics.

“We have no problem even if they form a big tribal party. The ‘hustler’ nation is ready to face them,” Ruto declared adding that leaders will be elected on account of their development record and not about ‘reggae’.”

“I said the 2022 government will be formed by ‘hustlers’. In Kiambaa, our candidate came from a very humble background. He is only 30 years old and he won against all drama, deep state and the so-called system,” Ruto said.

Yesterday, the DP and his political brigade attended the Sunday service at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kilifi County and continued the political onslaught on Raila.

He later flew to Lunga Lunga Constituency in Kwale County where he held a fundraising in aid of the Council of Imams of Kenya (CIPK).

At the same time, Raila was at Mkongani in Kwale County attending the burial of a former councillor and ODM politician Hassan Chitembe, where he told Kenyans to prepare for the second round of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) contest.

“Reggae is on half-time break. Nobody can stop reggae. You should prepare for a tough contest,” Raila said, noting that BBI was about development particularly for the youth who will have seven years tax holiday on business loans.

Raila, who was accompanied by Kwale Senator Issa Boy and area ODM Chairman Hassan Mwanyoha, said those opposing the BBI were also against efforts to address the two-third gender rule that will enhance women representation in Parliament.

“The BBI has a lot for Kenyans especially the youth and women. This is what they are opposing.” 

During the church service in Kilifi, Ruto took a swipe at those seeking to change the Constitution, claiming they were out to burden the public with high costs of running government with more positions. 

“It is against biblical teachings to pretend to serve the people while overburdening them for your personal gain,” he argued.

He was accompanied by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Kilifi North counterpart Owen Baya. 

At the same time, Ruto defended his track record as Cabinet Minister for Agriculture, Education and deputy president saying it has always been impressive.

He said the government has managed to build 10,000km of tamarc roads, connected over eight million people to electricity and revived technical training institutions which have taken in over 500,000 students.

Stop harambees

Ruto pledged to have the Kilifi town-Bamba road tarmacked and that a Sh3 billion water project would be completed soon.

While raising funds for imams in Kwale County, the DP said when he becomes president, the culture of harambee will stop because the bottom-up approach will provide for development funding from government, adding that it will set aside Sh100 million for business funding in every constituency.

He was accompanied by Lunga Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani, Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari, Msambweni MP Feisal Bader, Taita Taveta Women MP Lydia Haika, Kuria and Linturi.

Nyali MP Mohamed Ali said the UDA brigade will continue to work with perseverance to deliver a government for the people.

“In 2022 it will be a government of the people. Coast is no longer an ODM zone,” he said.  

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