You're better off in Kenya Kwanza, ex-allies of ODM boss tell Nyanza

Former Nyatike lawmaker Edick Anyanga. [Nanjinia Wamuswa, Standard]

There’s a new push to grow President William Ruto’s support base in Nyanza, a region that has traditionally backed Azimio leader Raila Odinga.

On Tuesday, former allies of the opposition leader told the region that the Ruto administration holds the key to their economic emancipation after decades of alleged political marginalisation.

They said they would hold engagements with locals across Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya, Nyamira, Kisumu and Kisii counties to turn the political tide in favour of Kenya Kwanza.

Speaking in Nairobi, the leaders said President Ruto had so far shown political goodwill by earmarking mega projects and making several high-profile appointments from Nyanza and other opposition strongholds. 

“We saw how President Ruto’s visit to Western and Kisii last week came with goodies. It’s high time the tide changed in Nyanza so that the region can feel it is part and parcel of government. Ruto has shown goodwill despite how we voted,” former Nyatike lawmaker Edick Anyanga, who led the group, said.

Mr Anyanga added: “The government of President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua is the only administration with the region’s interest at heart,” he told a press conference.

At the same time, the leaders, who included former MPs, MCAs and opinion leaders, claimed Azimio coalition was acting in bad faith by threatening to call fresh anti-government demonstrations yet the bipartisan dialogue team has been burning the midnight oil to progress with talks.

Anyanga warned that there was no point holding negotiations if Raila and the opposition brigade already believes there would be no breakthrough. He said by pre-empting the outcome and giving conditions, Azimio leaders were hellbent on achieving selfish ends.

“Even before the talks conclude, they are saying that should nothing come out of it, they will resume protests. Are they focused on a fruitful outcome or they want to forestall the process by pouring scorn on it?” the former MP posed.

Azimio and Kenya Kwanza each unveiled five members each led by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah to lead the bipartisan talks.

Mr Anyanga, who is also the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority (KNRA) chairman, called on Azimio supporters and leaders to back Ruto’s administration, saying there can only be one president and one government at a time.

He said no country can thrive when politicking takes centre stage. “The political season is over. Now, it is time to work. Unity of purpose in what we require most towards building our great nation,” he said.