Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala and the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president Nelson Havi were among the public figures who attended DP William Ruto’s rally in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County on Saturday, January 8.
Malala arrived when the rally had begun, and the emcee, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, had to direct the crowd to make way for the senator to reach the podium, where Ruto was seated.
Nelson Havi, on the other hand, was allowed to address the crowd at the early stages of the speeches. Havi is eyeing the Westlands parliamentary seat on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.
In his speech, Havi urged Kenyans to vote for Ruto in the August 9 presidential election, saying he was best-suited to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Some of the UDA-affiliated leaders who addressed the rally include former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah, Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, Kandara MP Alice Wahome, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot, Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai, Bomet Senator Christopher Langat, Lang'ata MP Nixon Korir, among others.
Others are governors Stanley Kiptis (Baringo), Stephen Sang (Nandi), Hillary Barchok (Bomet) Josphat Nanok (Turkana) and Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga).
“When you see Malala attending Ruto’s event, know that the signal points to a Ruto victory [in August 9 polls]. In Western Kenya, there’s that elderly man who likes to wear chains around his neck. He is fighting Malala, but he has no gas to sustain the fight,” Aisha Jumwa said in her address.
Senator Cheruiyot said President Uhuru Kenyatta “used” Ruto to ascend to power in 2013 and 2017, and after fulfilling that goal, the Head of State dumped the DP.
Malala and Ruto
Malala’s attendance of Ruto’s event comes one week after the deputy president made a stop-over in Mumias, where Malala hosted a football tournament on December 31.
“Malala, I have heard you asking me: ‘why did you come [to the tournament]? Why did you come without alerting us? The protocol team wasn’t made aware, and, as a result, there’s no red carpet rolled out for you’,” Ruto said at the time.
“I couldn’t reach you (Malala) because your boss, Musalia Mudavadi, plays a superior league to yours, and you know it. So, I reached him (Mudavadi), and he gave me the permission to grace the function.
“I respect Musalia Mudavadi, and I couldn’t come here without alerting him,” said the DP, revealing that he had initiated talks with Mudavadi for a possible coalition.
Malala, who is affiliated to Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) Party, is eyeing the Kakamega gubernatorial seat.
“The DP graced my football tournament on December 31 last year. In a bid to reciprocate, I have attended his rally here in Eldoret today. I bring the greetings of my Party leader Musalia Mudavadi. On January 23, ANC will hold its national delegates conference. On that day, we will unveil Musalia Mudavadi as our presidential candidate, and we’ll also allow Mudavadi to reach out to DP so that they can work together,” Malala said during his speech at Eldoret.
ANC, however, in a statement on Twitter on Saturday, said it hadn’t sent a representative to Ruto’s rally in Eldoret.
“The ANC Party would like to disassociate itself with the activities taking place at Eldoret Sports Club Grounds where UDA Party is holding its rally. ANC has not sent anybody to represent either the party or the Party leader in the said-function,” ANC said on the social media platform.
Waititu: Raila is unsellable in Mt. Kenya
In his Saturday address, former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu said it was impossible to successfully sell a Raila Odinga presidential bid in Mt. Kenya.
“He can’t get votes in Mount Kenya. Raila has no political appeal in the region,” said Waititu.
His remarks were echoed by Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru, who said President Kenyatta’s endorsement of Odinga was due to circumstances, and not because of the president’s liking for Odinga.
“The president realised that the only person who can give Ruto a run for his money is Raila. And, because they really want to stop Ruto from becoming president, they were forced to support him, but the truth is, they don’t like him as much.”