I'll win the presidency in August, a confident DP Ruto now declares

Deputy President William Ruto addressing UDA rally at Nasyanda market in Bumula, Bungoma county on January 7, 2022. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has said his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party was destined to win the August presidential poll.

The DP, who spoke in Bungoma yesterday, vowed that not even the “Deep State” could stand in the way of his victory.

“We won the Musambweni, Juja and Kiaamba by-elections and the trend will be the same during the August polls when I will be elected president. Let no one mislead you that if you vote for me your vote will be stolen by the so-called Deep State,” he said.

He went on: “That narrative was started by my detractors led by Cotu boss Francis Atwoli, the very person who once told the nation I would not be on this year’s presidential ballot.”

Ruto, who was on the fifth day of his campaign tour in western Kenya to undo the damage the Atwoli-initiated Bukhungu II meeting did on his candidature, said he was the best presidential bet based on his development record.

The Kakamega meeting held on December 31 endorsed ODM’s Raila Odinga as the region’s preferred presidential candidate under the Azimio la Umoja.

“Raila was prime minister, Kalonzo Musyoka was vice president just like I am deputy president yet I have initiated more infrastructure projects in this region than any of them. Why should you vote for them at my expense?” he asked.

He said under the Uhuru Kenyatta administration, he ensured Bungoma got more than 250 kilometres of tarmac and thousands were connected to the power grid.

He cautioned Bungoma residents who turned up at his rallies at Ekitale (Kanduyi constituency) and Nasyanda (Bumula) to be especially wary of Raila’s presidency.

“He is a candidate for the rich. The rich sat and arrived at him as a compromise and his task will be simple: mutilate the Constitution so that we have an imperial president, weak Executive, and a weaker Judiciary under the watch of an ombudsman,” he said.

He at the same time downplayed Raila’s promised social welfare scheme that will give Sh6,000 to poor households as “a bribery scheme to keep the poor occupied as the mutilation of the Constitution takes centre stage”.

He regretted that a sea of youth with diploma and degree certificates had no jobs, saying they would be his priority if he becomes president.

“We also have the small and medium business owners who the rich begrudge me when I help them. I will create a fund for them to get loans at low-interest rates while in office so that they don’t succumb to expensive mobile loans and pressure from overbearing lenders,” he said.

Bumula MP Mambu Mabonga (Independent) who accompanied the DP in the Bungoma tour said Ruto’s development agenda was evident.

He castigated the Bukhungu II meeting that endorsed Raila as western Kenya’s preferred presidential candidate, saying it lacked direction.

“How can the chief guest in a purported Luhya meeting be a Luo?” he asked.

He took a swipe at Atwoli, saying he specialised in coming up with programmes of auctioning the Luhya nation every election year.

Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali told residents of Kanduyi and Bumula that Ruto had done extensive campaigns in Bungoma to deserve their votes.