By Kevin Rop—
Deputy President William Ruto this weekend took to the coastal region on a charm offensive development tour. It seems the visit to Kwale and Taita Taveta counties have roped in a few foes to his camp.
Overall, the DP received the support of tens of coastal opposition legislators for his 2022 presidential bid where he remains the man to beat. At least 15 NASA and Jubilee MPs promised to work with him to strengthen his bid where they also hinted at creating a caucus to further the ambition.
The legislators heaped praises on Ruto claiming that the DP had shown that he is focused on the development and thus a better fit to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta when his term lapses. Wundanyi MP Dan Mwashako of Wiper Party who spoke at ACK St Barnabas Chuch said the DP remains the most suitable replacement for Uhuru.
“We fully support the DP’s journey to State House. We will rally our people behind him,” Mwashako said.
Voi MP Jones Mlolwa of ODM Party said that the coastal region has resolved to work with the Deputy President and back him because of his development agenda. He, however, called for the signing of a pact to that effect to ensure the region is not left out of the next government.
“To succeed we must [sign] a joint pact that will enable Ruto to ascend to power,” he said.
Accompanying the DP was East Africa Legislative Assembly member, Mpuri Aburi who reiterated the Gema community’s strong support for Ruto’s bid in the next general election. He rubbished the notion that the community will not honour their part of the bargain, saying: “I know there are rumours that with the introduction of Raila Odinga in government, we won’t support the DP. That is not true. We all know that Ruto is the next president.”
Gatundu South legislator Moses Kuria who reaffirmed that their support was beyond reproach also flanked him. Other leaders in Mr Ruto’s Coast trip were Oscar Sudi(Kapsaret), Nixon Korir (Langata), Lydia Haika ( Taita Taveta), and Aisha Jumwa (Malindi). Taveta Governor, Granton Samboja, received him.
Earlier on Saturday, the DP was at Likoni in Kwale County where he launched projects worth billions of shillings and a personal donation of five million shillings. He promised to be back to launch other road projects from Lunga Lunga to Vanga in April.
The local leaders had the same rhetoric as those of Taita Taveta County concerning the politics of 2022. A host of MPs allied to NASA stalwarts, Joho and Kingi pledged to work with the government.
They asked the DP to look into problems afflicting the residents of coast region including land issues that have plagued them since independence. The DP told them that their people, Swazuri (Chairman, National Lands Commission) and Gideon Mungaro (Chief Administrative Secretary, Lands) must help them bring the problem to its end.
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