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DP Ruto's Coast tour stirs sibling rivalry in UDA

POLITICS
By Patric Beja | October 23rd 2021

Deputy President William Ruto (centre) addresses UDA party aspirants at Wild Waters, Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto’s recent six-day tour of the Coast has stirred sibling rivalry in United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the region.

Ruto held a meeting of all aspirants in Mombasa a week ago with reports emerging of stormy discussions as some of those eyeing a UDA ticket feel the party appears to have settled on specific people.

During the meeting, Ruto reportedly warned the aspirants against causing friction in UDA, saying they will be barred from contesting on the party’s ticket.

Ruto began the Coast tour in Taita Taveta and Kwale counties before proceeding to Mombasa and Kilifi counties. He wound up the tour with rallies in Mpeketoni and Mkunguni in Lamu county.

The DP dished out millions of shillings to boda boda operators, traders and women groups in about 15 constituencies in the six counties.

In Ganze, he donated 1,000 bales of maize flour to hunger-stricken residents and pledged to improve farming if he wins the presidency next year.

In Kwale, Governor Salim Mvurya skipped the DP’s public rallies at Kombani trading centre and Ukunda showground but met him privately later.

Mvurya is reportedly under political pressure after ODM leader Raila Odinga announced publicly that he had embraced him.

DP William Ruto (left) greets Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya during a fund drive at Kwa Kadogo Primary School, 2016. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

Deputy Governor Fatuma Achani hosted Ruto in both rallies, prompting the DP to endorse her for the Kwale governorship on a UDA ticket at the Ukunda meeting, sparking sibling rivalry in the party as another gubernatorial aspirant Lung’anzi Chai Mangale later protested the move.

“We had always expected free and fair nominations. The endorsement of Ms Achani to run on UDA ticket took us by surprise,” said Omar Mbuli, Lung’anzi’s campaign manager.

In Mombasa, Ruto appeared to have settled on former Senator Hassan Omar amid grumbling from within the party.

He endorsed Omar for governorship during his intensive campaigns in Jomvu, Changamwe, Likoni and Nyali constituencies.

“God willing, Sarai will be the Mombasa governor in 2022, the same way I want you to support (Karisa) Nzai and (Omar) Shallo, who are vying for parliamentary seats,” he said.

DP William Ruto (left) talks to former Senator Hassan Omar during a political rally at Jomvu, Mombasa County. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

In Taita Taveta, former Senator and Cabinet Minister Dan Mwazo and lawyer Stephen Mwakesi who have declared interest for gubernatorial seat together with former governor John Mruttu are eyeing UDA ticket.

This emerged as Mruttu and Taita Taveta women representative Lydia Haika hosted the DP last Thursday.

 Pwani University lecturer Halim Shauri says Ruto should be accommodative or risk scuttling his team, which will see him lose a significant segment of his supporters.

“The deputy president should be more accommodative or else he will lose many supporters ahead of nominations,” Prof Shauri warned.

But his colleague, Prof Hassan Mwakimako argues the DP made it clear when he met aspirants in Mombasa that he had not endorsed anybody.

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