Support my top seat bid, Ruto asks his Rift Valley backyard
by Wycliff Kipsang
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday took his Hustler movement crusade to his Uasin Gishu and Nandi backyard where he appealed to voters not to let him down.
Ruto, who started his tour in Nandi county before heading to Uasin Gishu, told Rift Valley residents to stick with him adding that he has a clearly spelled out development agenda for the region and the country.
“You know that I’m on a mission to lead this country and I’m counting on you here at home not to let me down. Please assure me of your votes before I seek support in other parts of the country,” he said in Kalenjin while addressing the public in Kapsabet town.
In Uasin Gishu county, the Deputy President presided over a funds-drive for 36 churches at Chebolol while in Nandi county, he raised funds for the ACK Nandi diocese complex.
Show of solidarity
He urged residents to elect United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidates in all positions next year in a show of solidarity.
Ruto assured aspirants that UDA has no preferred candidates for any position adding that the party will respect the verdict of the people.
His assurance comes at a time when there is a lot of jostling for the UDA ticket in Rift Valley especially with DP close allies standing for various positions sparking fears that they may be favoured during party nominations.
He hit out at his opponents whom he said lack a clear political agenda for Kenya but have instead resorted to hate speech and name calling.
In a move seen as responding to claims that his North Rift backyard had nothing to show despite him being the second in command, the DP said a lot has been achieved in the region in his eight years in office.
He cited connection of 90,000 people with electricity in Nandi county alone down from 20,000 when the Jubilee government took power in 2013.
“Some of my opponents were holding senior government positions but they have no development track record. They have now resorted to inciting jobless youth to throw stones during my meetings,” said the DP.
MPs seen to be opposed to Ruto including Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills), Swarup Mishra (Kesses) and Nandi governor Stephen Sang were heckled during the trip.
In Nandi, as Sang was booed and forced to cut short his speech, his opponent in 2022, businessman Antipus Tirop was cheered on when he took to the podium to address the gathering.
Ruto drummed up support for his bottom-up economic model, which he said will empower Kenyans from humble backgrounds. The DP urged Kenyans to co-exist peacefully as the country heads to the elections.
“Together with other arms of government, we will ensure Kenyans exist peacefully. We will ensure a peaceful election period and peaceful outcome. Those threatening us should know that Kenya will remain united and peaceful,” said the DP.
He was accompanied by MPs Alex Kosgey (Emgwen), Cornelly Serem (Tinderet), Mishra (Kesses), Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) John Waluke (Sirisia), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Aden Duale (Garissa Town) and senators Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo-Marakwet), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Samson Cherargei (Nandi). Others were Governors Jackson Mandago (Uasin-Gishu) and Sang of Nandi.
Rift Valley leaders who have not been singing to the tune of the DP were on the receiving end yesterday.
Sudi and Barasa said most of the rebels pretend to be loyal to the DP when elections draw near only for them to start hurling insults and fighting him when elected into office.
“This time round, we want our people to vote wisely. Clean our house of people who pretend to be with us but dine with the enemy,” said Sudi.
Ruto will today be in Nakuru before heading to Nyandarua on Friday.