The opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) chiefs led by presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga are pitching tent in Kisii County for a series of campaign rallies in what seems to be a neutralising mission just a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee Party visited the region.
Their programme shows they will divide themselves into two groups and hold separate roadside rallies across five sub-counties among them Nyaribari Masaba, Bobasi, Bobasi, Bonchari and Kitutu Chache South before they converge at Gusii Stadium later Tuesday afternoon for the final rally.
The opposition leaders had initially scheduled to tour the county on Monday but rescheduled their tour following a tussle with Jubilee over who was to use Gusii Stadium.
On Monday, Kisii Governor James Ongwae said they rescheduled the Nasa visit to avoid unnecessary confrontations between supporters of the two parties.
"We are a peace-loving party and would not wish to have ugly confrontations and that is why we allowed them (jubilee) to finish with theirs first," Mr Ongwae said.
Six in ten voters from the region supported Mr Odinga in the 2013 elections.
But President Kenyatta’s Jubilee has been making inroads lately, announcing payments for integrated IDPS, pledging to pave more roads, creating new districts to entice locals and poaching some politicians from the opposition such as Senator Chris Obure who is currently vying for governor on a Jubilee ticket.
Nasa Kisii region chief campaigner Richard Onyonka said the coalition’s co-principals will conduct separate rallies in two teams across five sub-counties before they converge for a mammoth rally at Gusii Stadium later in the afternoon.
"The first team which will be led by Mr Odinga will conduct rallies in Masimba, Gesusu (Nyaribari Masaba) Nyacheki, Ogembo, (Bobasi) Marani, Nyakoe (Kitutu Chache South and Kitutu Chache North respectively) and then converge at Gusii Stadium for the main rally," he said.
Mr Onyonka said they expect a huge turnout considering the popularity of the alliance in the region.
"We definitely bill this to be the mother of all Nasa rallies in the region and a show of force that this is indeed our stronghold," he told the Nation.co.ke.
He said the other team led by Mr Musalia Mudavadi will begin with rallies at Mageche, (Machoge Borabu), Etago, Tabaka, (South Mugirango), Suneka (Bonchari) before they meet for the final rally in Kisii.