Ruto, Raila in spirited fight to galvanise Bungoma, West Pokot votes

Governor John Lonyangapuo

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Deputy President William Ruto and his archrival Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga have put up a spirited effort to galvanise voters in Bungoma and West Pokot counties.

West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo’s Kenya Union Party (KUP), which supports Mr Odinga’s bid, says it was working to win the former Prime Minister a substantial number of votes. The county has 214,574 registered voters.

Speaking in Kapenguria on Tuesday, Prof Lonyangapuo said the area will vote as a bloc to deliver votes on August 9.

The county, considered the last frontier of Kanu, has received a lot of interest from DP Ruto of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and is categorised a battlefront for the two presidential frontrunners.

Prof Lonyangapuo said he and others had embarked on marshalling votes and drumming up support for Mr Odinga to elbow out Dr Ruto.

Pokot South MP David Pkosing, the KUP deputy party leader, said they are fully behind the Azimio honcho in anticipation that he would clinch the presidency.

“We urge all those who did not vote for Raila Odinga in the past elections to give me their votes this time. We have talked with the former premier and agreed on crucial issues,” said Mr Pkosing.

He added: “For the first time in history, all Pokots will vote for Mr Odinga because he has touched the right buttons that ought to be touched.”

Meanwhile, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has said Kenya Kwanza leaders from Western had started vigorous grassroots mobilisation to deliver over 70 percent of votes in that region that they promised DP Ruto.

"When he (Raila Odinga) kicked me out of the Senate minority leader’s office, I told them it will be 'messy, noisy and it will have casualties'. Now Raila cannot step into Bungoma. He has no votes. Kenya Kwanza is supported by over 87 percent of Bungoma residents. Raila is the first casualty." he said. 

The senator bragged that Mr Odinga received votes in the Western region in the last two general elections because of the grassroots support marshalled by ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and himself.

"Under this Jubilee administration, Kenyans have suffered greatly by having prices of various basic commodities increasing with a high inflation rate," he said. 

He blamed the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga for the problems bedevilling the country.

"Kenyans will no longer suffer the skyrocketing prices of basic goods under Ruto's administration if he is elected the next head of state. He will sort out the mess that Kenyans are currently facing,” said Bungoma senator.

He also asked Kenyans to elect leaders who will change their fortunes instead of picking those who only think about themselves and do not have their interests at heart.

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