KITUI, Kenya, Sep 24 – Deputy President William Ruto has taken campaigns for his bottom-up economic model to Kitui in a bid to woo residents to back his presidential ticket in the August 2022 election.
Ruto’s visit to Kitui on Friday came within a week of a similar visit to Makueni on Tuesday, both considered the political bedrock of former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.
Speaking at Katheka, Kitui West, where he convened a women and youth empowerment forum, DP Ruto urged the residents to align with leaders focused on uniting the country.
“We all have the opportunity to unite all Kenyans inclusive Kitui people in our UDA party. I wish to ask you to support me so that we work together,” Ruto pleaded with Kitui residents.
The Deputy President said he was best placed to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta who is due to set down in 2022 after completing two five-year terms in office.
He defended his bottom-up economic approach, saying it would guarantee the trickling down of economic fortunes to Kenyans at the bottom of the pyramid.
“We will successfully reduce the gap between the rich and the poor if we agree to work together in unity,” said Ruto.
Allied legislators who accompanied him including Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town) and Kimani Ichungwah (Kikuyu) defended Ruto’s economic model saying it will inject much-need support to small and medium enterprises.
Ruto was also accompanied by former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama who chairs his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party and former Nairobi Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke.
Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, a fierce critic of the Deputy President gave the tour a wide berth.
Ngilu has been opposing Ruto’s 2022 bid saying the Deputy President would misgovern the country should he ascend to power.
At one point, she asked the DP to resign from the government instead of castigating President Kenyatta’s administration from within.
The first-term Governor who served in President Kenyatta’s first Cabinet following a pre-election deal with the two principals has been championing for an opposition alliance bringing together former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Musyoka and other leaders to challenge Ruto in 2022.
She was an ardent campaigner of the Building Bridges Initiative constitutional review process declared null and void by both the Constitutional Court and the Court of Appeal, through which the opposition alliance had hoped to hammer a pre-election deal for sharing of an expanded national executive.