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Kalonzo Musyoka gifts Raila Odinga a million votes

Azimio la Umoja Coalition Flag Bearer Raila Odinga is prayed for at Machakos: He secured a million votes from Ukambani. [Emmanuel Wanson]

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka "gifted" Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga approximately 1 million votes in the just concluded presidential election whose vote counting is underway in Bomas.

However, Kenya Kwanza candidate William Ruto scooped a quarter million votes in Musyoka’s vote base, affirming Wiper sceptics who had predicted tough times for Raila vote hunt in Ukambani if their man was not picked as running mate.

Poor voter turnout proved to be a major undoing in Ukambani proper areas, with just a million people turning out to vote in the three counties of Kitui, Machakos and Makueni out of the 1.7 million registered voters.

In the three counties, Raila managed 769,985 votes while Ruto got 250,188 votes. It is estimated that Kalonzo support in Ukambani daspora bases - Embakasi’s in Nairobi, Mathare, Makadara, Starehe and Makadara - pushed this vote to a million.

“We promised and we have delivered both Ukambani proper and our diaspora. Here in Nairobi, we went all out for the Azimio ticket, and you have seen the results for yourselves. We have done our bit,” Musyoka’s Nairobi fixer Roy Kivusyu told Standard Digital

Wiper leader  Kalonzo Musyoka campaigns for Raila Odinga in Kitui West.[Dennis Kavisu]

Kivusyu, who is slated to be nominated to the National Assembly if Wiper numbers add up, says they expect Raila to keep his part of the bargain.

Of the three Ukambani counties, Raila reaped the most in Machakos County where he got 305,393 votes against Ruto’s 101,437.

In Kalonzo’s Kitui County, Raila got 235,405 votes against Ruto’s 89,420 while in Makueni, the Azimio leader got 229,187 against Ruto’s 59,331.

Incidentally, it is in Kitui where voters were most generous with Ruto. In Kitui Central, for instance, he garnered 16,820 votes, going neck and neck with Raila in some wards.

Makueni was the meanest to Ruto despite him making serious inroads over the campaign period.

Overall, the cosmopolitan Mavoko Constituency, which neighbours Nairobi gave Ruto the biggest chunk of votes from Ukambani - 22,051 while Kathiani, also in Machakos, gave him the least- 6,624.

UDA chairman Johnson Muthama also campaigned for Ruto vigorously.

Machakos Town and Mbooni constituencies gave Raila the most votes of all Ukambani counties, posting 50,000 votes each for the Azimio leader.

Before he was dropped for Martha Karua, the Wiper leader had claimed that his voting base would rebel if he was not Raila’s running mate.

“If I am not picked, it’s obvious that all the votes due unto me may troop to Ruto’s direction. Is that what they want? It’s rather obvious,” he said.

He said the moment Raila sidestepped him, “it will be clear that some forces are determined to botch his (the ODM leader’s) presidential ticket.” He said if this happened, Raila may never become president.

Deputy President William Ruto at Kimutwa town, Machakos County. [Beverlyne Musili]

“Either the devils are walking among them or they do not want him to become president. The moment they don’t pick me, it will confirm to me that some people do not want Raila to become president,” Kalonzo told Athiani radio station in early May.

He later “moved on”, after a brief announcement of a solo political journey, and hit the road to campaign for the Raila-Karua ticket.