Raila shines in Ruto's backyard

 Raila Odinga.

Kenya Kwanza presidential candidate William Ruto (left) and his Azimio la Umoja counterpart Raila Odinga.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga has pulled a surprise in three wards in Deputy President William Ruto's turf of the North Rift.

Mr Odinga has trounced his main challenger in Huruma and Langas wards in Turbo and Kapseret constituencies respectively.

A third ward where Mr Odinga was beaten by around 1,500 votes is Kiplombe, in Turbo -- the home constituency of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential candidate.

Huruma is cosmopolitan, with the majority being Kikuyu, Luhya and some Luo, and with 31,660 registered voters, while Kiplombe, which is partly cosmopolitan, has 26,347 votes. Langas, which is also cosmopolitan, has 24,763 voters.

An analysis of some of the Forms 34A that the Nation has seen indicates that the former Prime Minister has improved his ratings in the three wards compared to what he got in 2017, when the three wards voted overwhelmingly for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In Huruma ward, out of 49 polling stations, Huruma Primary, MV Patel, Atnas Kandie and Bishop Delany, among others, the Azimio boss led in all, garnering 11,843 votes against 5,749 votes of the country's second in command.

In Langas ward, which is in Kapseret Constituency, the area MP is Oscar Sudi, an ardent defender of the DP, the former Prime Minister led in Langas Primary, Langas Racecourse, Langas Market, Mwiruti, Kapkenduiywo, Kahuroko and Giture, while Dr Ruto defeated him in Eldoret Main Prison. In total, the Azimio boss got 9,782 votes against the Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) leader's 4,150 votes.

More votes

With this, Mr Odinga is likely to poll more votes than he got in 2017.

During the campaigns, Mr Odinga did not tour Langas ward, but held a mega rally at Huruma Grounds just months after his running mate Martha Karua also touched down at the same venue.

In Kiplombe ward, which has more than 35 polling stations, a look at results captured in Form 34A and certified by both the presiding officer and agents, Mr Odinga led in all seven streams at Moi University West Campus. Mr Odinga got 1,464 votes against 639 votes of Dr Ruto.

And although DP Ruto beat his competitor in the overall tally for Kiplombe ward, the ODM boss led in several polling stations, with Dr Ruto gaining an advantage from polling stations that are away from Eldoret town.

In Kapsoya ward, Ainabkoi Constituency, an analysis of the Form 34A uploaded to the IEBC portal indicates that the Azimio boss led in all 11 polling stations at Munyaka polling centre, showing a change of heart among the voters compared to the 2017 General Election when they overwhelmingly voted in President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In the 2017 General Election, Mr Odinga garnered 72,378 votes in Uasin Gishu County but with the performance in the three wards, it is likely that the figures will increase and the performance could be attributed to the political camaraderie between Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta.

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