Deputy President William Ruto appeared to be the biggest beneficiary of President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga’s unity pact when he received a warm welcome at the Coast, a region regarded as an opposition stronghold yesterday.
As a sign of changing political ground ahead of 2022 elections, more than 20 MPs, mainly from the Orange Democratic Movement, turned up to welcome the DP when he launched the construction of Sh1 billion road in Jomvu and vowed to work with him and the Jubilee administration.
Mombasa Woman Representative Asha Hussein appeared to be a lone ranger when she said the Coast was still an ODM base, with Governor Hassan Joho as its President despite the Uhuru-Raila deal.
However, unlike before when the Coast opposition MPs kept off Ruto, President Kenyatta and Jubilee events, they turned up to welcome the DP, at times praising him and the Uhuru-Raila agreement.
Virtually all the Nasa MPs who spoke asked Mr Ruto to visit their constituencies.
Coast Parliamentary Group chairman Suleiman Dori said local leaders would accompany Mr Ruto on a tour of the region.
Among Mr Joho’s allies who attended Mr Ruto’s rally at Kwa Jomvu Primary school were MPs Abdulswamad Nassir, Badi Twalib, Omar Mwinyi, Owen Baya, Paul Katana, Benjamin Tayari, Getrude Mbeyu, Michael Kingi, Jones Mlolwa and Mohamed Ali.
Others were senators Mohamed Faki, Issa Juma Boy and Stewart Madzayo.
Mr Joho has announced his bid for the presidency in 2022 and has admonished Nasa principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula for skipping Mr Odinga’s swearing in as the people's president on January 30.
Mr Joho who is ODM deputy party leader has however backed the Uhuru-Raila political union.
Mr Ruto said the time for politics and sharing of positions had ended "and it is time to develop the country".
“Political divisions and fight for power is behind us. We should now work to ensure food security and better health for our people,” he said.