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ELECTION 2022

Raila accuses Ruto of employing dirty tricks after sensing defeat

POLITICS
By Moses Nyamori | Jan 19th 2022 | 4 min read

 

ODM leader Raila Odinga and Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu flag off trucks that will be crisscrossing Nairobi to sensitise residents on voter registration on January 18, 2022. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has accused Deputy President William Ruto of sponsoring political chaos after sensing defeat in the succession race.

Mr Raila said the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with Dr Ruto has since panicked over the Azimio La Umoja Movement wave and was now deploying dirty tactics to attract sympathy. He likened UDA to a monkey facing heavy rains inside a forest and was now struggling for survival on a day UDA formally wrote to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over alleged “State-sponsored violence.”

The weekend chaos that rocked Ruto’s rally at Jacaranda grounds, Nairobi, has since snowballed into accusations and counter-accusations between ODM and UDA.

“There are people claiming they are being blocked from holding rallies and that ODM is planning violence. Why should we do that? There is nothing like that; I know my supporters have not engaged in violence,” said Raila.

“Already, they have seen the Tsunami that is coming and they are now crying foul. We will defeat those people in the ballot. Already, they have felt the Tsunami,” he added.

He said those running for various seats were free to campaign in any part of the country without being threatened by anybody. The former premier made the remarks at Nairobi County Hall yesterday during the launch of voter registration drive where he exuded confidence of clinching the top seat that has eluded him in four attempts.

The ODM leader said he was targeting at least 1.6 million votes in Nairobi being the combined votes polled by President Uhuru Kenyatta and himself in the 2017 General Election.

“In 2017, I got about 900,000 votes in Nairobi; Uhuru got more than 700,000. This votes combined brings about 1.6 million votes,” said Raila.

According to data by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Uhuru polled 791,291 while Raila garnered 828,826 of the 1,629,894 valid votes cast in the presidential race.

Raila further told supporters to turn up in large numbers and enlist as voters, saying the succession race would be largely influenced by the 4.5 million targeted new voters.

IEBC on Monday rolled out the second and last phase of enhanced voter registration that will run for 21 days. The first phase that ran for a month got 1.5 million new voters of the targeted six million.

Raila said they will pull all the stops to ensure all eligible voters are registered so that they can take part in the elections.

He told the youth to seize the moment so that they can have the right leaders in office after the election.

He said the Government was ready to provide additional funds to the electoral agency to ensure eligible voters are registered.

“In the 21 days we will not sleep; we will march daily to ensure our supporters register as voters. Even if you want it to be done at night, so be it, funds are available,” he said.

“There is nothing important more than the ongoing voter registration. A voter’s card is very important and it is a great arsenal. People no longer fight for leadership using weapons but through votes,” he added.

Raila said it was by electing the right leaders that Kenyans would be guaranteed quality healthcare, employment and business opportunities.

He, however, warned voters not to fall prey to politicians who make empty promises.

Raila said Ruto promised pupils laptops in 2013, but failed to deliver and was now promising the same children wheelbarrows.

“There are those who make promises, say they will build modern stadia in every county. You promised laptops to our pupils but when they are done with school, you are now telling them to take wheelbarrows,” he said.

Nairobi Governor Anne Kananu declared that she will defend her seat in August. She vowed to mobilise eligible voters to enlist in the ongoing mass voter registration.

“Nairobi has been peaceful because it has a mother. And come election, Nairobi will still have a mother,” said Kananu. She took over reigns of Nairobi County following impeachment of Mike Sonko and a series of court battles.

ODM Secretary General and Senate aspirant Edwin Sifuna said the party will work with grassroots officials to ensure many youth enlist.

Mr Sifuna said they were ready to facilitate movement of the registration kits to ensure every eligible voter is captured.

Separately, Azimio La Umoja Movement has lined up three major rallies-cum voter registration mobilisation drive.

Tomorrow, Raila will take his campaign to Kuria in Migori county before moving to Homa Bay on Friday. On Saturday, the team will be in Narok for a unity drive.

“This Thursday, we are going to meet with the leadership of Kuria. On Friday we will have some business in Homa Bay,” said Raila.

Yesterday, the ODM leader held a meeting with Masaai leaders led by Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina and Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta.

Kenta said: “Narok is 100 per cent for Azimio. We have invited all professionals to the meeting. We are committed to taking the Azimio message to all parts of the county,” he said.

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