Deputy president William Ruto yesterday pitched camp in Kiambu county as the fallout between his party and affiliate leaders in Kenya Kwanza coalition showed no signs of ending.
Despite posters circulating early showing former Governor William Kabogo of Tujibebe Party and Gatundu South lawmaker Moses Kuria (Chama Cha Kazi) would attend, the pair gave the rallies a wide berth.
Mr Kuria and Kabogo pulled out of joint Kenya Kwanza rallies, citing humiliation.
They said urging locals to only vote for United Democratic Alliance (UDA) was dividing the alliance.
The DP avoided the six-piece voting call in his campaigns on Sunday June 18.
Dr Ruto, who was accompanied by his running mate Rigathi Gachagua, said he is the best choice for Kenyans “as the current government has subjected you to a high cost of living”.
He escalated his attacks on Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party presidential candidate Raila Odinga, whom he accused of stalling government projects after he teamed up with President Uhuru Kenyatta in March 2018.
The DP said he is the only person who stood with Mr Kenyatta “when Mr Odinga was making it hard for the President to run the government”.
He also attacked unnamed people living in Nairobi “who think they can dictate to Kenyans who they should vote for”.
Dr Ruto said his government would set aside Sh100 billion for the youth and additional Sh50 billion as loans for small and medium enterprises.
“We have a chance to form the government on August 9. Our competitors do not mean good for you. These are the same people who have closed down Keroche Breweries and brought other businesses down. They have no development plan or record,” he said at Ndumberi stadium.
“Our government will lower prices of basic commodities and bring down the cost of living.”
He blamed the current food crisis on “some people in the government who did away with subsidies on fertiliser”.
Mr Gachagua urged locals not to vote for Mr Odinga and Jubilee Party candidates, adding that they do not mean well for Kenyans.
“Do not vote for Jubilee Because Jubilee is Azimio and Azimio is Jubilee. Vote for Ruto and UDA candidates in August,’’ Dr Ruto’s running mate told Kiambu residents.
The calls for six-piece voting have created a rift among Kenya Kwanza-affiliated parties in Kiambu county.
The smaller parties have complained of being subjected to embarrassment by United Democratic Alliance leaders during campaign rallies.
The genesis of the row between UDA and other Kenya Kwanza parties became evident on Wednesday when UDA brigade pitched camp in Kiambu.
The exchange between Senator Kimani Wamatangi and Mr Kabogo was precipitated by the hardline UDA position in dealing with the affiliate parties.
Mr Kabogo and Mr Kuria, both governor candidates, protested to Dr Ruto in writing and said they had withdrawn their support for UDA until their grievances are addressed.
Earlier in Narok, Dr Ruto told locals to support his presidential bid, claiming to be one of them.
The DP, who started his tour of Narok County in Enoosaen, said Kilgoris is his home and one never forgets his backyard on assuming office.
Roads and electricity
He bought the Murumbi land in Lolgorian a few years ago.
Dr Ruto said he would complete the projects he initiated in Narok county.
“You will not come to tell me what to do. I already know because I am home. The only thing I want from you is votes,” he said.
The DP added that Narok should not give Mr Odinga even 10 per cent of the votes “since he has done nothing for you”.
“We should not get the usual 55 per cent from Narok county. Even a 10 percent is too much for that man,” he said.
He took credit for Trans Mara Sugar Company, saying cane farmers should be paid well and promptly.
“I looked for that factory and brought it here. I have been told that farmers are facing challenges. I will come here to solve them. Either they get a bigger crushing and faster machine or I will get a licence for another factory,” he said.
“We will build the Kehancha-Lolgorian-Emarti road and connect it to Ololulun’ga. Going to Nairobi should be easy. We will also connect the Enoosaen road and link it to my home to enable you visit.”
He said it would be a “sin” for Mr Odinga to get votes in Narok county.
“The Bible says those who do not work should not eat. Which food should that person eat when he has not cooked?” he asked.
The DP used development projects initiated by the Jubilee administration, including tarmac roads, to ask for votes.
“We have built schools, roads and connected electricity to many homes,” Dr Ruto said as he told sugarcane farmers that their crops would not remain unharvested for more than 20 months.
At Dr Ruto’s rally in Kilgoris was former Nairobi Regional Education Coordinator John Ololtua, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai, Woman Representative Soipan Tuya, Narok West lawmaker Gabriel Tongoyo and former Labour Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ntutu.
Kenya Kwanza leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) and Charles Kanyi (Starehe) were also present.
Mr Mudavadi and Senator Wetang’ula said Mr Odinga is President Kenyatta’s project.
They said Mr Odinga would be a puppet of the President and called on Narok residents to reject him.