Ruto targets poll losers, independents in Mt Kenya vote hunt

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The Kenya Kwanza team led by Deputy President William Ruto has designed a multi-pronged campaign strategy to tighten their grip on established strongholds.

The team also established a series of campaign trails across Mt Kenya region that are likely to provide swing votes.

Among the counties they are banking on include Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Murang’a.

The coalition is currently recruiting volunteers to join its ‘adopt a polling station’ campaign, who will keep vigil at polling stations on voting day and protect the coalition votes.

The strategy was widely used in the Kiambaa constituency during the by-election pitting Kiriri Njama (Jubilee) and Kawanjiku (UDA), where it worked.

Already they have constituted a strong team from the Mt Kenya that has been reaching out to poll losers in the Jubilee Party, as well as independent aspirants.

Among those tasked to reach out to aspirants include Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), Edward Muriu and Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu).

Others are former Kiambu governor William Kabogo, Kimani Wamatangi  and Ferdinand Waititu.

Speaking to the Star, UDA legal secretary and Gatanga MP aspirant Muriu said that, last week, alongside Nyoro, Irungu Kanga’ta, Joe Nyutu, and Maragua MP Mary Wamaua, they held a meeting with Jubilee poll losers and independent aspirants at Thika Greens hotel.

Muriu said the party has been very aggressive in reaching out to supporters to enrich Ruto’s ground base.

He said Kenya Kwanza is not only reaching out to aspirants and losers, but also those in the alliance who aren’t treated with the respect they deserve.

“We held our first meeting last week at Thika Green hotel and we managed to host Jubilee aspirants like Kimani Mumbi (formerly Jubilee) and others, and the trend is being done in other counties in Mount Kenya,” he said.

Kiambu senatorial aspirant Karungo Thangwa said Kenya Kwanza Alliance is growing stronger by the day.

He said the outfit is the most transparent among other alliances, and Kenyans should accord Ruto support since he has stood with the Mount Kenya region in time of need, both in 2013 and 2017.

“The team is trying to reach out to aspirants who are vying as independents as well as those in other coalitions,” Karungo said.

Sources have hinted that numerous meetings have been held across the region and some of the independent aspirants have stepped down in favour of UDA aspirants.

Deputy President William Ruto and the Kenya Kwanza team have over the past few weeks concentrated on what the coalition is calling, “protecting its votes” and sealing loopholes that could lead to rigging.

The DP, during a recent tour of the Mount Kenya region, assured his supporters that no one can dare steal his votes.

Ruto and his team have designed a campaign strategy based on the need for change and the failings of the Jubilee government.

Among the issues they are promising to address include food shortage, the high cost of living, corruption, unfulfilled promises, tribalism and employment exclusion.

About a month ago, Ruto welcomed former Tana River governor Hussein Dhado, Tana River county assembly speaker and 14 MCAs to UDA. 

The DP took to Twitter to reveal the new catch, even as he seeks to clinch the presidency in the August 9 polls.

“You have made the right choice. This is the vehicle that will lead ordinary Kenyans to a new economic reality,” he tweeted.

MPs Danson Mugatana and Ibrahim Sane (Garsen) also officially joined the outfit.

Ruto had earlier alleged that over Sh1 billion was used to pay off aspirants into joining the ruling Jubilee Party.

On Monday, Ruto led his troops in congratulating Maendeleo Chap Chap leader Alfred Mutua for joining Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

DP Ruto praised Mutua for ditching Azimio, saying he has “rejected blackmail and conmanship” from the wrong leaders.

“Those who’ve taken our country hostage using patronage, force and impunity watajua hawajui na Wakenya hawapangwingwi [they will realise Kenyans are alert],”the DP tweeted.

 

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