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William Ruto promises to honour pre-election deal with Western if he wins poll

Deputy President William Ruto addressed a campaign rally at Bukhungu, Kakamega County on July 31, 2022. [DPPS, Standard]

United Democratic Alliance presidential candidate William Ruto yesterday returned to western Kenya to woo voters yesterday as the campaigns enter the home stretch.

Dr Ruto addressed rallies in Vihiga, Trans Nzoia and Kakamega counties, and reminded residents that the region stands to benefit 30 per cent of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance through Cabinet and ambassadorial appointments as well as government resources. The DP started his tour of the region at Hamisi Stadium in Vihiga county and urged residents to turn up in large numbers and vote for Kenya Kwanza.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula have committed to deliver at least 70 per cent of the Western votes in the agreement with Ruto.

The DP said he expects more votes from the region. “What percentage of votes will you give me?” he asked the crowd, which said they would give him 75 per cent of the votes.

Ruto told residents he wants Western to give him 95 per cent of the votes to defeat his main competitor and Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

“With 95 per cent of the votes, we shall send Raila to Bondo early.” 

Kenya Kwanza leaders were barred from accessing Bukhungu Stadium by police who roughed up Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali during an inspection of the facility on Saturday.

Ruto told voters in Western to be cautious with Raila, whom he termed untrustworthy having allegedly betrayed Mudavadi and Wetang’ula in the past.

“Raila snatched away the Senate Minority leader seat from Wetang’ula and left Mudavadi behind during the Handshake deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018,” he said.

Dr Ruto said Raila cannot guarantee Western and Kenyans equity and equality going by what he has done to leaders from the Luhya community in the past.

Ruto said the Azimio presidential candidate is playing saint yet he has failed to address the corruption menace in the country.

“Raila should tell Kenyans he skipped the presidential debate because he feared I would question him about the multimillion-shilling Kemsa scandal and other corruption dealings,” he said.

The DP said Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta are to blame for the high cost of living in the country.

“Fertiliser prices have shot up from Sh2,800 to Sh7,000 making it difficult for farmers to produce food,” he said.

Ruto said his first job in office would be to fix the dwindling economy, empower farmers and create jobs.

Ruto accused the President of holding night meetings to campaign for the Azimio leader.

“You are free to campaign for Raila but Mr President, stop using government resources in campaigning for him. Today we have night meetings where public servants are being forced to attend and plan to disrupt election,” he said.

The DP continued: “Chiefs must resist and not accept money that will be used to disrupt elections.”

Ruto urged the administrators not to be misused by the government “because I will give you back your jobs in case you are fired.”

He said Kenya Kwanza will allocate Sh50 billion for the microfinance sector to enable women to access loans for table banking and another Sh200 billion for job creation.

Mudavadi said Kenya Kwanza offers the people of Western a better deal of transforming their lives as opposed to Azimio.

Wetang’ula urged voters to support Ruto’s presidential bid and refuse to be hoodwinked by sideshows.