Inside Ruto’s four-day Coast campaign to counter Raila

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Deputy President William Ruto will from Tuesday camp in the coastal region for a four-day intensive campaign.

Ruto’s tour at the Coast comes exactly 10 days after ODM leader Raila Odinga visited the region between May 11 and 14.

The DP will try to wrestle the region from Raila’s grip, which for a very long time has been considered an ODM zone.

Following his numerous onslaught campaign against Raila in the region, the DP now enjoys huge support from two Coast governors, Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi), and a host of other legislators.

Raila’s itinerary saw him traversing counties of Tana River, Kwale, Kilifi, and Mombasa where he held a series of rallies and met with the ODM leaders in those regions.

After his Mombasa rally at Mkomani ASK showground, Raila said he will return to complete his campaigns in Taita Taveta and Lamu counties.

To counter Raila’s influence in the Coast, Ruto has planned a series of 11 rallies in all the six counties: Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi, Mombasa, Tana River, and Lamu.

The DP will have two rallies in Kwale, three rallies in Mombasa, three rallies in Kilifi, two rallies in Tana River and one rally in Lamu county.

He will also have five economic forums in the five counties of the region.

Ruto will begin his Coast tour with an economic forum at Voi Wildlife Lodge before going to Kwale for two rallies at Vigurungani Centre in Kinango constituency and Kidimu in Lunga Lunga constituency.

“He will be having an economic forum in one county before moving to a neighbouring county for a series of rallies,” a senior official in Ruto’s camp said. 

On Wednesday, DP Ruto will lead the Kenya Kwanza Alliance during an economic forum in Mombasa before embarking on three rallies in the neighbouring Kilifi county.

In Kilifi, Ruto is expected to be hosted by Governor Kingi and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa.

This will be Ruto’s first visit to Kilifi since he successfully lured Kingi’s Pamoja Africa Alliance party to sign a pact with Kenya Kwanza.

In Mombasa, he will be hosted by former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar and Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, among other UDA grassroots lieutenants.

On Thursday, Ruto is expected to be hosted by Governor  Mvurya in Kwale for an economic forum before flying to Mombasa for three rallies.

And on Friday, he will be in Kilifi county for an economic forum before holding two rallies in Tana River’s Garsen and Bura and later a final rally in Lamu county.

During the Mombasa meeting, the DP is expected to be presented with a 13-point agenda of the Mijikenda community that they want Ruto to address within his 100 days in office.

According to the community, they are tired of the status quo and they now desire to change and speak in one voice.

Within 100 days of Ruto’s presidency, the community said, the land question and return of port operations and cargo handling activities back to Mombasa must be addressed once and for all.

Other issues that Ruto is expected to encounter during his rallies and economic forum at the Coast include revamping and reinvesting in local industries and related sectors that directly benefit the residents.

The Blue Economy conversation is also expected to dominate.

Mombasa UDA senatorial aspirant Hamisi Mwaguya confirmed to the Star that the issues of the port, Blue Economy, agriculture and land matters will extensively be discussed.

“Among the issues, we want to be discussed is the creation of Ministry of Blue Economy, the return of port services to Mombasa, agriculture, tourism and others that have direct impact on the Coast,” Mwaguya said.

During Raila’s visit, he said will revive the coastal economy, which has severely been battered by the transfer of port services to the hinterland.

He also said he will resolve the historical land injustices that have bedevilled the region for years, and revive the agricultural sector.

Other promises that Raila gave were to improve road infrastructure and the fishing sectors in the region.

 

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