William Ruto and Raila Odinga will be making their final bidding later Saturday.
The two rivals in the presidential contest settled on Kenya’s centre of administration, Nairobi, to endear themselves to the voters in efforts to comply with IEBC deadline on campaigns – August 6, 2022.
Deputy President William Ruto will lead his Kenya Kwanza brigade at the Nyayo National Stadium in Lang’ata Sub-County.
Sixteen (16) kilometres away, though in a different constituency – Kasarani –, Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya will make his final submission to Kenyans ahead of Tuesday’s general election.
Both candidates are known for their ability to attract large crowds. The crowd optics are so important to them that their social media pages are littered with pictures of their well-attended rallies.
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Nyayo Stadium, where Ruto will be, has a sitting capacity of 45,000. Kasarani Stadium, on the other hand, can sit a maximum of 60,000 people.
In total, the two stadia can accommodate 105,000 people on seats. However, the duo’s popularity would see this number exceeded by several tens of thousands, if their previous stadia rallies pattern is anything to go by. Some of the attendees wouldn’t mind sitting on the field.
Both rallies were scheduled to start at around 10am, but, as has been the case previously, the events could delay by at least three to four hours, allowing people more time to make their way to the venues.
Nevertheless, live pictures from both Kasarani and Nyayo showed hundreds of attendees singing, dancing, waving flags and lifting posters as they waited for the men of the moment.
It was a moment of euphoria for many. Selfies, high-fives, laughter, colourful dressing, whistles, vuvuzelas and food, so much food characterised the early stages of both functions.
Earlier Saturday, Deputy President William Ruto had called a press conference at his Karen residence to urge Kenyans to vote for him, saying he was best suited to address the high cost of living and the country’s ballooning debt.
Lynette Kerubo, a resident of Kajiado North, told The Standard that she travelled over 70 kilometres to attend the DP’s rally at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.
“As a single parent, I believe Ruto has the best policies for us. He has pledged to set aside some money to uplift us economically. I don’t want to continue suffering, and that’s why I’m supporting him for presidency.
Ruto's competitor, Raila Odinga, has previously said on several occasions that he and his running mate, Martha Karua, were the safest pair of hands for the country’s top seat.
Odinga and Karua have pledged to lead a corruption-free government that places Kenyans’ social and economic welfare at the centre of its operations.
George Ochieng, a 36-year-old resident of Kiambiu in Kamukunji Constituency, said he was a regular attendee of Raila Odinga’s rallies in Nairobi.
“I’m here (Kasarani Stadium) to listen to what Odinga has to tell us in regard to how we should vote. I’m optimistic that this time around, he’ll win the presidency,” said Ochieng.
David Mwaure of Agano Party, who is one of the four presidential candidates, will hold his final rally on Saturday in Nairobi’s Eastleigh and Eastlands neighbourhoods.
The itinerary of George Wajackoyah of Roots Party remained unclear.
The Standard reached his communications aide Jaymo Ule Msee, whose real name is Wilson Muirani Gathoni, for comment.
“Give me an hour and I’ll confirm to you where he (Wajackoyah) will hold his final rally,” Jaymo said at 11:20am.