DP Ruto heads back to Western region to sell his agenda

Deputy President William Ruto addresses Malava residents after attending African Church of the Holy spirit where he donated a new car to the high priest Shem Shamalla on September 18, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto returns to Western region tomorrow in an attempt to woo the region to support his presidential bid in 2022.

Dr Ruto has lined up a series of public rallies in Kakamega County and will later take his charm offensive to Busia County tomorrow (Saturday). His first stop today will be at Khayega market in Ikolomani where he is expected to address supporters.

The Deputy President will also address supporters at Shianda trading centre in Mumias East constituency and Khwisero market. Ruto had earlier toured Kakamega and Bungoma counties days before ODM leader Raila Odinga visited the two counties.

Buoyed by his six-day tour of the Coastal region where he popularised UDA party and his bottom-up economic model, Ruto is keen on winning hearts in Western during the two-day tour. Ruto’s allies, including former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and former National Assembly Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali, have been busy preparing the ground ahead of the DPs tour.

Khalwale had indicated the DP will meet delegations from Butere, Mumias East, Khwisero and Shinyalu constituencies. Ruto had earlier met a delegation from Western at his Karen official residence to plan the Western tour.

The DP appears to have lost some of his strongest allies from the region including Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka and MPs Malulu Injendi (Malava), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Benard Shinali (Ikolomani).

Lusaka who is plotting a comeback as governor of Bungoma has been warming up to Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula, while Mr Injendi has joined ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi's bandwagon. Wangwe and Shinali have shifted their loyalty to Raila. 

Washiali, Khalwale and former Sports CS Rashid Echesa remains the DP's foot soldiers in Kakamega.

In Bungoma, Ruto is banking on the support of Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga, John Waluke (Sirisia), Didmas Barasa (Kimilili) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West).