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Mt Kenya is my stronghold, Ruto tells 2022 rivals

POLITICS
By James Munyeki and Ndungu Gachane | October 10th 2021

Deputy President William Ruto at a rally in Nyahururu, Laikipia County. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto has maintained that he has the support of Mt Kenya region ahead of next year’s General Election.

Ruto yesterday described his political rivals, who are now touring the area, as “newcomers”.

The DP, who camped in Mt Kenya to ostensibly counter Raila Odinga’s ‘footprints’, said the ODM leader was welcome “but the region has already decided on their preferred presidential candidate next year”.

“He is looking for Google Maps to guide him on the way to the region. While he was away, we built roads, railways and technical institutions. The region is a UDA stronghold,” Ruto said.

The DP held rallies in Nyahururu, Naibor and Nanyuki towns where he took the opportunity to drum up support for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), pleading with residents not to be shepherded into tribal politics.

Former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri hails from Laikipia and has formed The Service Party of Kenya (TSP) with which he has been agitating for a pre-coalition agreement with UDA.

The clamour for unity spearheaded by Kiunjuri, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua has been gaining momentum, a probable reason for Ruto and his troops to stage an all-round political war at their doorsteps.

But Ruto said his political formation has the face of the nation with over 150 MPs, adding that it is the only political party that can unite Kenyans. “Let us unite Kenyans through UDA, we even have the support of Laikipia elected leaders like John Kinyua (senator) and Patrick Mariru (Laikipia West), among others,” Ruto said.

He said unlike in 2013 and 2017 when he supported President Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency, this time, he would support the ordinary citizens to uplift their living standards.

ICC cases

Ruto urged the electorate to repay the gesture of standing with Uhuru when Raila turned his back on them in 2013 when they were faced with the ICC cases.

The DP also faulted the meetings being held by business people from the region, with the latest one held at Safari Park hotel with One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders.

He was accompanied by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and MPs Alice Wahome (Kandara), Mariru, Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) and Kimani Ichung’wah (Kikuyu), among others.

“We hear your leaders are hiding in Nairobi hotels lying to Raila that the region will support him. You should reject them at the ballot because the region is backing UDA,” Ichung’wah said.

Speaking at Nyahururu DEB Primary School after officially opening a dining hall constructed by the Laikipia West NG-CDF, Ruto repeated his criticism of the leaders now seeking votes from the region, saying even if they were welcome, Mt Kenya region had already decided.

“Is this the time that they have realised that Mt Kenya exists? Tell them that we have already decided and this is our zone,” he said.

The DP maintained that he would continue pushing for more development projects in the Mt Kenya region.

“You supported us three times with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Those who are now touring the region are now realising that there is a region that did not exist and they are now trying to woo you to support them,” he said.

“In the last eight years, over 100 kilometres of road network in Laikipia West have been tarmacked, 90 per cent of the people’s homes have been connected with electricity. We will still push for more.”

He continued to root for the bottom-up economic model, which he said was the only solution to the problems facing many Kenyans.

“We want to assist the small businessmen to be like the dynasties. The only solution is the bottom-up economic plan. We will solve the problem of poverty once and for all,” he said.

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