Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has criticised Deputy President William Ruto’s frequent trips to western Kenya, terming them a ploy to lure the public for his own interests.
He told the Nation on phone that Mr Ruto is using his stature as Deputy President to divide the Luhya community by dangling development projects.
“What Ruto is doing is dividing the region by picking MPs, giving them money and pretending to launch development projects in their areas to scuttle the Luhya unity so that the community does not put votes in one basket,” Mr Mudavadi said.
According to the ANC leader, some of the projects Mr Ruto is launching are either not reflected in the national budget or have not followed proper the procurement procedure.
“Let the DP desist from playing divisive politics with the people of western region. It is wrong for him to lie to Kenyans in the name of launching projects when in real sense it is mere public relations,” Mr Mudavadi said yesterday in Butere during the Tindi Mwale tournament finals.
He cited Iguhu Medical Training College (MTC), whose construction was launched mid last month by the DP.
“According to the law on procurement of the MTC, where was the advertisement (for its construction) in the dailies? We want to see if there was a tender awarded. If you go to the site, where is the contractor?” He posed.
“What my friend is doing is taking the people of western region through a revolving door because these projects are just a mockery and will not be completed before 2022,” Mr Mudavadi said.
He told the Nation the MTC project is hazy as it is not clear who between the national and county government is supervising or funding it.
Last month, the DP visited the region three times. His last visit was on Monday at Malinya stadium, in Ikolomani constituency, during the Idakho cultural event where he presided over a bull fighting contest.
In mid-December, the DP was in the same constituency to commission the Iguhu Medical Training College before he visited Emuhaya to launch the tarmacking of a Sh800 million Ekwanda-Lwanda-Mwichio-Esirulo Road.
On December 15, he toured Mr Mudavadi's home turf — Vihiga County — where he said five roads would be tarmacked and a Sh1.8 billion water project constructed. He also promised residents an affordable housing project.
Last Friday, Jubilee Party Vice-Chairman David Murathe kicked off a storm after he claimed that there is no guarantee the DP will be the party’s flag-bearer, and that is no pact to assure that Kikuyus will vote for him.
Following the comments, which have caused an uproar in the party, Mr Murathe has been accused of using his position to front Mr Mudavadi for presidency in 2022.
During Mr Ruto’s last visit to western Kenya, he steered clear of politics. However his lieutenants dismissed his critics, saying they want to stop a potential President from ascending to power.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa defended the development projects, saying the Jubilee administration is committed to uplifting the lives of the common mwananchi.
He said Mr Mudavadi had failed the Luhya community after serving as vice-president, deputy prime minister and minister in two previous governments without launching any single project in western region.
But Mr Mudavadi dismissed the projects as non viable. He said what the DP is doing is similar to what he and President Kenyatta did in the build up to 2017 polls when they traversed the country in the name of launching projects.
He said the Jubilee leaders launched and re-launched similar projects to appear as though they are working.
Mr Mudavadi asked the people of western region to reject calls to support Mr Ruto in 2022, saying the community is well-organised than before and is likely to produce the next President.