Azimio MPs accuse Ruto of engaging in early campaigns using State resources

Ruto Western Tour

President William Ruto during a working tour to Emuhaya Constituency, Vihiga County on Tuesday, August 29. Azimio lawmakers have chided the President for using State resources to politick instead of focusing on service delivery.

Photo credit: Courtesy | PCS

A section of MPs has dismissed President William Ruto’s inroads into Azimio la Umoja One Kenya strongholds, saying early campaigns camouflaged as development tours will amount to nothing.

The lawmakers chided the President for using State resources to politick instead of focusing on service delivery at a time when Kenyans are battling high cost of living and huge tax burden.

Led by Saboti MP Caleb Amisi, the MPs vowed to put up a spirited fight to counter what the President is doing should it become the norm.

“It is unfortunate we don’t have a President but a campaigner. This is the first time we are having an elected President, barely a year into office, on the campaign trail. Kibaki, Moi and even the Kenyattas never did that. Even colonialists were not running helter-skelter across the country,” said Mr Amisi.

He added: “Kenyans are wondering where their President is. What he is campaigning for we don’t know because IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) has not announced any election.”

Mr Amisi spoke on Saturday evening when he hosted young Azimio parliamentarians at his Karen home.

President Ruto has been on an intense charm offensive in areas traditionally considered opposition strongholds, with frequent visits to Nyanza, Western and the Coast, using development to win over the regions.

The sustained political onslaught aimed at endearing himself to regions that sparingly voted for him in last year’s elections has yielded fruit, with several elected leaders and losers switching loyalty.

However, Mr Amisi laughed off the perceived gains, saying Azimio remains intact and no amount of political goodies will sway Mr Odinga’s support base.

“Kenya Kwanza has always wanted to divide Azimio but we want to tell them that Azimio is intact as we are people with shared identity and ideology,” said the MP.

Mwingi West MP Charles Nguna said that Azimio governors working with the government should not be seen as crossing over.

“Our governors are there to serve their people. We are not campaigning or in electioneering mode. People don’t eat politics but development,” he said.

At the same time, Embakasi West MP Mark Mwenje vowed to take the battle to Kenya Kwanza at the Kenya Young Parliamentarians Association (KYPA) over leadership positions, accusing the ruling alliance of trying to impose on them leaders.

The National Assembly deputy minority whip said Kenya Kwanza will not dictate to them their leaders in the association. He said Azimio has settled on nominated MP Irene Mayaka as KYPA secretary-general to replace MP Babu Owino.

Further, Kitui Woman Rep Irene Kasalu will take over as Treasurer from Ms Hezena Lemaletian, while Yatta MP Robert Basil will replace Mr Mwenje who has stepped down as deputy secretary-general while Wajir Woman Rep Fatuma Jehow is the new vice chairperson.

“These are Azimio seats that we must replace. We are aware the Kenya Kwanza side were trying to put their members in those seats. That is why we have come up with a line-up,” said Mr Mwenje.