Ruto goes to Kisii to consolidate support base in western region
Nyaboga Kiage and Hillary Mageka
Deputy President William Ruto is today expected to tour Kisii County in a charm offensive to woo voters ahead of the 2022 polls.
Ruto’s tour to Kisii comes days after he met a delegation of leaders from the region at his Karen home in Nairobi in a strategy aimed at keeping his political fire burning.
“Our engagement with Kenyans should be based on development track-record and a deliberate plan to create jobs, boost food production and the revival of the economy.
Political support cannot be achieved through threats, coercion and intimidation but through persuasion,” Ruto tweeted after hosting a delegation from the county led by Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro and a host of MCAs.
Yesterday, Osoro told People Daily that Ruto will be in his constituency to preside over a fund-raiser for women and youth.
“DP Ruto is for the team hustlers. He is coming to Kisii to support the hustlers. We plan to work with hustlers,” he said.
According to his itinerary, the DP is expected to arrive at Nyamarambe Stadium at 10 am to preside over the fundraiser.
Maangi, Anthony Kibagendi, the Youth Affairs Secretary in the office of the DP and Bomachoge Chache MP Alpha Miruka will receive him.
Others are Ms Essy Okenyuri, who is a board member of TVET and former Kisii County Woman Rep Mary Otara, among others.
In the last two months, a select group of leaders from Kisii and Nyamira counties, including Ward Reps and legislators have on three occasions visited Ruto at his Karen home as part of a strategy to consolidate his support base in the region.
Ruto’s visit to the region comes barely a month after former ODM chairman Kisii County Samuel Omwando ditched the party and joined his camp.
Before the Coronavirus outbreak in the country, Ruto had visited Kisii and Nyamira counties making inroads, enticing locals by being part of harambees, poaching local politicians such as Mr Omwando, who in 2017 vied for the Kitutu Chache South parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket but lost to Ford Kenya’s Richard Onyonka.
Gusii region has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the Orange Party during the last two general polls, a trend the Ruto camp is determined to overturn in 2022.