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Rowdy youth disrupt Ruto tour of Raila’s backyard

POLITICS
By Harold Odhiambo and Edwin Nyarangi | November 11th 2021

Deputy President William Ruto addressing wananchi at Jua Kali, Kisumu Town on November 10, 2021. [Jonah Mwangi/DPPS, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto continued with his tour of Nyanza region to sell his agenda and UDA party with a visit to Kisumu City yesterday.

His visit to Kisumu marked the second attempt to infiltrate Raila Odinga’s political bedrock. The DP addressed crowds at Jua Kali and Obote Road in Kisumu Central.

In the morning, Ruto's convoy was pelted with stones by rowdy youth at Kondele. Several cars were damaged and people injured.

The police used teargas to disperse the youth.

Hours later, the National Police Service said they had told the DP's team to avoid Kondele area because there "was tension owing to the alleged distribution of campaign logistical funds amongst local groups." 

Bruno Shioso, the police spokesman, said in a statement that they had gathered intelligence and had advised the DP against visiting Kondele.

However, in a statement sent to newsrooms last evening, Ruto's press secretary David Mugonyi said the people of Nyanza, Kisumu and in particular, Kondele and the deputy president are not strangers.

"They have come a long way and have interacted peacefully and productively with love and mutual respect for many years," Mugonyi said in the statement.

He added that the reckless deployment of criminal elements to tarnish their well-earned reputation of patriotism and robust democratic commitment is unfortunate and has no place in the Kenya.

"Hustlers are peaceful people who believe in the solidarity of all Kenyans. The statement by the National Police Service, which carelessly profiles people in regrettable terms, underscores the fact that they had intelligence on the criminal conspiracy to perpetrate lawlessness in broad daylight, and ample opportunity to stop it and facilitate a peaceful event, but consciously opted to engage in political mischief instead," the statement read.

He said at no point was there deployment of campaign finances as alleged by the police. "The police should not play around with people's lives or property. Just do your job."

Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda too called on the police to arrest all those who planned the chaos. 

"Kisumu is a peaceful town and we don't need to have such ugly scenes," Ouda said

The DP has been optimistic about broadening his national support base as he wrestles with ODM party leader Raila Odinga for votes from other parts.

Earlier, during the address on Obote Road and Jua Kali in Kisumu Central the DP took credit for a number of projects initiated by the Jubilee administration.

The DP used the opportunity to sell his bottom-up economic model and also rallied support for UDA party and urged the region to back his quest for presidency.

He said he has plans to uplift the region’s economy and and attacked the Building Bridges Initiative.

Unlike the first day of his visit, the DP steered away from direct attacks on the ODM chief and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He claimed that they initiated a number of projects in the region including the construction of new roads as well as the connection of more homes to electricity.

He also mentioned the revival of the railway line, a project that promises hope for the region.

“Next year, we must get our priorities right. Our first priority in the first budget will be to put Sh100 billion to address unemployment among the youth,” said the DP.

Although his camp regards his initial engagements with Raila’s backyard as a major success, the violence witnessed in Kondele clouds his success of making in roads in the region.

Yesterday, the DP said that he had the formula to address challenges the fishing and sugar industries and rice farming face. He said he will also tackle unemployment.

The DP said that his competitors are only keen on changing the Constitution and not changing the lives of people.

“The people I am competing with are claiming that we change the Constitution first to increase positions for our leaders. Our priority is to create jobs for our people,” said Ruto.

After visiting Kisumu, Ruto went to Rongo town in  Migori and visited UDA party offices.

He addressed residents at Rongo town, Rongo University junction, Ranen, Awendo, market.

He thanked Migori residents for their support in the last elections and asked for their partnership in forming the 2022 government.

Ruto said that the creation of jobs for the youth was a matter of priority that is why Sh100 billion will be allocated to youth empowerment programmes.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado said that the unity of all Kenyans was very important and that the area residents should not be left out of the UDA juggernaut.

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