Deputy President William Ruto is touring Vihiga County Thursday in the continued Jubilee Party campaigns targeting areas seen as swing votes ahead of the October 17 repeat poll.
The visit by the DP comes a week after President Uhuru Kenyatta received a delegation of politicians from the western region, among them former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga at State House, Nairobi.
Mr Akaranga, who is coordinating the visit by Mr Ruto, told Nation Wednesday that they had set up the ground for the meeting.
Mr Ruto is expected to address a delegation of preachers at the PAG Church in Nyang’ori before heading to another meeting to meet with elders drawn from across the county.
Vihiga is the home county of the National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principal Musalia Mudavadi and the entry of Mr Akaranga into the ruling party is expected to help the Jubilee chip away some votes for itself ahead of the October 17 fresh presidential election.
“Nasa did not want me. They took me to court for using the Nasa logo. Even after the election held on August 8, they never bothered to engage me,” said Mr Akaranga who was compelled by the IEBC to stop using Raila Odinga’s image on his posters as his party then was not a member Raila’s Nasa coalition.
“President Kenyatta called me and that is why I am supporting his re-election. The Deputy President is coming to Vihiga. I will receive him at my home and then we will head to Nyang’ori where we will address more than 6,500 pastors,” added Mr Akaranga.
The pastors have been invited from across the country, Akaranga said.
“Nasa will realise that they made a mistake when they resorted to humiliating me. The president engaged former Meru Governor Peter Munya and he returned to Jubilee,” said Mr Akaranga who was defeated by former Emuhaya MP Wilbur Ottichilo in the governor’s race.
The visit by Mr Ruto at a time when the opposition is accusing the ruling party of a rigging plot through buying of identity cards from voters in the vote-rich Luhya community.
ANC Secretary-General Godfrey Osotsi, who is also a nominated MP, claimed Jubilee Party is buying identity cards from voters in the region at Sh5,000 each.
“I am told Jubilee are buying identity cards as a scheme of rigging the presidential election. People should be vigilant because Jubilee is keen on reducing our numbers,” said Mr Osotsi.
“We are asking our people not to sell their birth right. Their identity cards are the weapon to ensure a democratic and just society. They should rally behind Nasa.”