Ruto and Mudavadi turn heat on Raila
What you need to know:
- Presidential hopefuls’ campaigns focus on Raila exit and ways of locking him out of State House
Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and Eldoret North MP William Ruto turned up the heat on former boss Raila Odinga in their campaigns for the presidency on Friday.
Mr Mudavadi was in Kisii where he urged Mr Odinga to drop out of the race and support him.
In Narok, Mr Ruto said he will unite with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in a possible run-off to lock out Mr Odinga.
He dispelled rumours that he was talking to Mr Odinga to return to the ODM fold, saying there was no turning back.
“That is impossible. Working with Raila and ODM belongs to the past. I have moved on to form a formidable party. Someone should ask him if he is willing to work with me in URP. He can decide to pay me back,” he said.
Mr Ruto said he was confident of winning the presidency and a majority in the National Assembly and Senate.
“We can work with like-minded leaders who want to join us in the run-off, but I can tell you Uhuru and I have a formula to beat Raila,” he said.
Mr Ruto, who is seeking the United Republican Party nomination to run for the presidency, says he hopes to win 136 parliamentary seats in the Rift Valley, Coast, North Eastern, Upper Eastern and parts of Nyanza.
“We are determined to win this time round and it is this determination which will keep us together. All I can assure Kenyans is that William Ruto will run for the presidency on a URP ticket and Kenyans will decide,” he declared.
Mr Ruto said he had invested a lot to ensure he was ahead of the pack.
“Unlike other presidential aspirant, I have created networks and have the support and trust of small communities and through their support, we will form the next government,” he said.
The G-7 alliance, which revolves around Mr Kalonzo, Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta, has been toying with various options to beat Mr Odinga, who opinion polls put in the lead.
Most recent polls have indicated that no presidential candidate will win the race in the first round of voting, making a run-off inevitable.
Insiders say one of the options is to field a single G7 candidate in the March 2013 election, with Uhuru and Ruto being seen as running mates.
In Kisii, Mr Mudavadi, of the United Democratic Forum, asked Mr Odinga to support him as he did in the last election.
Accompanied by nominated MP George Nyamweya, Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni and Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito, Mr Mudavadi called for peaceful elections.
He urged Mr Odinga to retire with President Kibaki.
“The tenure of the coalition government is coming to an end with Kibaki’s retirement. It would be wise if Raila also retired from politics because his time has also expired,” said Mr Mudavadi.
The DPM asked Kisii residents to vote peacefully. “We lost lives and property to violence after the disputed poll and we do not wish to witness such incidents again,” said Mr Mudavadi.
He urged presidential candidates to accept the outcome of the poll.
He criticised the government’s failure to compensate integrated IDPs in Kisii because they did not to stay in camps after the 2007/8 displacements.
At Tabaka trading centre, Mr Mudavadi promised to revamp the soapstone industry if elected.
He also promised to open more factories and create jobs.
Mr Kioni said no single community in Kenya can take a presidential candidate to State House. “We have come to seek your support because we must be united to win,” he said.
Mr Nywameya asked the people of Kisii to support Mr Mudavadi because he was approachable and his politics was not tribal.
Reports by Julius Sigei, Jacob Ng’etich, Jackline Moraa and George Sayagie