DP Ruto forms team to solidify support base for 2022 in Gusii

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Deputy President William Ruto (centre) confers with Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi at Tabaka Mission Hospital during the opening of a laboratory on March 15. On Tuesday, the DP held a meeting at his Karen home with a group of leaders from Kisii and Nyamira counties and formed a team to help solidify his support in the region. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By RUTH MBULA
By SHABAN MAKOKHA

Deputy President William Ruto has formed a team he considers ‘formidable’ in Gusii land, which he will use to solidify his support base in the region in his journey to State House in 2022.

The DP met with the team at his Karen home on Tuesday in what sources say will be a do-or-die hunt for votes.

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He held two separate meetings with each of the groups, one from Nyamira County and another from Kisii County. Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi led the group from his county comprising 27 ward reps from the region.

MPs Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango) and Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba) led more than 200 youths from Nyamira to the Karen meeting.

Mr Ruto has continued to fire salvos at ODM leader Raila Odinga whom his allies believe will face him at the ballot in 2022.

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The DP’s allies in the western region, led by National Assembly Chief Whip Benjamin Washiali, yesterday cautioned ODM politicians against using the handshake to sabotage democracy.

Mr Washiali said that despite the handshake having brought calm in the government, it should not be used to stop other political parties from participating in any election.

The Mumias East MP defended the nomination of soccer star McDonald Mariga as a Jubilee candidate in the Kibra by-election, saying it did not symbolise the end of the handshake.

As Mr Ruto lays the strategy to win the presidency in 2022, he has not only established a team of politicians in Gusiiland but also western Kenya to galvanise support for his bid.

On Thursday, even though Mr Ruto’s allies in Gusii declined to make public details of their Tuesday meeting at the DP’s Karen home, Mr Maangi confirmed they held the meeting and that it was successful.

He also refuted claims that the youths who attended the meeting disagreed over cash. There were reports that some youths were left stranded in Nairobi and others engaged in physical fights.

Apart from the 2022 presidential agenda, the group agreed on modalities to scatter efforts made by those backing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i for presidency.

Also, Kisii Governor James Ongwae, who backs the CS for the top position in the country, is a person of interest for the group with sources indicating that he is to be frustrated by the MCAs.