Why Ruto's had opted out of Homa Bay visit over Raila poll loss fears

President William Ruto shares a light moment with MDG Party Leader David Ochieng

President William Ruto shares a light moment with MDG Party Leader David Ochieng during a service at Homabay AIC church.

Photo credit: Tommy Omondi | Nation Media Group

It is emerging that President William Ruto’s visit to Homa Bay town last weekend was made at the last minute after he initially opted to forward his Sh1 million personal contribution meant for the fundraiser of African Inland Church (AIC).

While the Head of State chose his close ally Lake Basin Development Authority (LBDA) managing director Dr Raymond Omollo to represent and deliver his donation, some of his handlers pushed for his physical presence at the event.

The President felt that it was not the right time to visit the region, which overwhelmingly voted for his rival Azimio One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga after suffering an election loss.

But some felt that most of the resident and local leaders have come to terms and realigning themselves with the new administration.

“I received a call from the President on Saturday morning directing me to prepare and represent him at the fundraiser which was to take place on Sunday after the church service,” Dr Omollo told Nation.

The regional authority boss who was in Nairobi at the time was forced to book an evening flight to Kisumu before covering the 107 kilometres to the lakeside town by road.

“Unfortunately, the plane delayed and I decided to call Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lelan while at the airport to inform him of the latest development,” he said.

Just around the same time, Mr Lelan informed him that he had received a call from another source that he was scheduled to attend the event.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Roads, Transport and Public Works nominee Kipchumba Murkomen confirmed the same to me but insisted that he was strictly going to worship.

As a host, Dr Omollo was on the ground to receive the president at Kabunde Airstrip when he arrived with ICT CS nominee Eliud Owalo and Ugenya MP David Ochieng aboard a military aircraft, among other leaders.

However, only four leaders including Mr Owalo, Mr Ochieng, former CAS Ken Obura and Dr Omollo addressed the congregants as they urged the residents and elected leaders to support the president to realize meaningful development.

In his speech at the church, Dr Ruto affirmed his commitment to work with governors, senators, MPs and members of county assembly as he reiterated his administration’s commitment to serve without discriminating those who voted against him.

“We have an agreement which we made with the people of Homa Bay when I came here for an economic forum. I promise you that I am going to work with all elected leaders to transform our country on the basis of what we agreed upon,” he said.

Among other bag of goodies, the president promised to complete the Kanyadhiang-Pala- Kadel ring road which he launched in 2018 when he was the Deputy President.

Other issues he promised to address include housing, water and sanitation issues in Homa Bay town and cluster water projects in Kendu Bay, West Karachuony, Oyugis and Sindo.

He also promised to visit Homa Bay County for a second time next month to implement the construction of 5,000 housing units and a further 2,000 in the next year.

The President who later held a brief meeting with local leaders expressed his commitment work hand-in-hand with leaders in the region to fulfil the promises he gave during the campaign period.

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