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William Ruto wheelbarrow back to Kisii

POLITICS
By Erick Abuga | December 7th 2021
Deputy President William Ruto at Kiritiri Market in Mbeere South Constituency, Embu County. November 19, 2021. [Muriithi Mugo, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto is tomorrow expected to tour Marani, Nyaribari Masaba and Bobasi constituencies in Kisii County a month after an extensive tour of the region.

The constituencies are home to Ruto’s main political rivals in the region; Governor James Ongwae, Woman Rep Janet Ongera, Senator Sam Ongeri and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati.

The visit follows defections by local leaders to various political parties. It also comes ahead of ODM leader Raila Odinga’s convention in Kasarani, Nairobi, this Friday, where he is expected to officially launch his 2022 presidential bid.

South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro confirmed Ruto’s trip, saying all is set for the empowerment programmes in the region.

“We have done enough groundwork and we are sure the ground has tilted. Things will never be the same again,” said Osoro.

In Bobasi, Ruto will be received by aspiring politician Lukas Mogoa, while in Nyaribari Masaba, UDA aspiring politician Ben Momanyi will be the host.

Kisii County UDA Coordinator Japheth Nyakundi and Kitutu Chache North parliamentary hopeful Ogamba Migosi will be hosting the DP. In 2017, Migosi vied on ODM ticket and came third.

“We want to empower our people and campaign for the bottom-up economic model,” he said.

In his last trip, Ruto had held roadside rallies in Bomachoge, South Mugirango and Bonchari as well as meeting UDA aspirants and grassroots opinion leaders.

On Sunday, Ruto did not show up in Nyamira County’s West Mugirango Constituency where he was scheduled to attend a funds drive in aid of 30 churches.

The DP has been banking on at least five MPs from the region; Osoro, Alfa Miruka (Bomachoge Chache), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba), Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango) and West Mugirango’s Vincent Kemosi for his Gusii region grassroots mobilisation.

Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara have also been in the team.

Nonetheless, the deputy president has been receiving strong political opposition from ODM leaders in the region, with Governor Ongwae, Senators Ongeri and Okong’o Omogeni (Nyamira), Woman Representatives Ongera (Kisii) and Jerusha Momanyi (Nyamira) leading anti-Ruto campaigns in the region.

Ongera says their focus is to ensure Raila ascends to power because “we have no better option. Raila remains our best bet for 2022”. 

Despite Raila receiving massive support from the Gusii community, leaders from the area remain divided along political affiliations associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila and Ruto.   

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