Why Ruto Hardly Sets Foot In Luo Nyanza - Herman Manyora
Deputy President William Ruto is yet to visit Luo Nyanza during his weekend ‘Tanga tanga’ tours. Most regions have been visited by the DP in his cross county trips observed as attempts to improve his visibility in the grassroots ahead of the 2022 elections except for Luo Nyanza .
Ruto has declared his interests in the country’s top seat in 2022 and has ignored all calls by political figures including the President Uhuru Kenyatta to tone down politics.His regular destinations now include the Western, Coast and Mt Kenya regions where he has led fundraisers in churches, schools and launched projects.
Despite having paid several recent visits to Kisii and Nyamira counties, he has not been to the neighboring Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori counties since last year.These four counties are termed Raila Odinga's political backyard.
Prof Herman Manyora, a lecturer cum-political analyst, believes that the region has ‘generally shown’ hostility to the DP during past trips.
“To most observers, Luo Nyanza must be hostile to him. So it is an element of fear and apprehension. They are not the best of his friends and the problem with Luo Nyanza for him is that any small thing can erupt, then he gets embarrassed,” he observed.
Manyora however, noted that the DP’s move to not visit the region could be a political strategy ahead of 2022 elections.
“That could be part of his strategy because he can decide to leave some areas and decide to attack at a certain time,” he added.
Analyst Macharia Munene, while insisting the DP has not shunned the region, observed that he has not made as many visits there compared to other areas because ‘there is no one to invite him.’
The last time Ruto visited Luo Nyanza was on December 13, 2018, when he toured Kisumu with President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the pilot phase of the Universal Health Coverage. Before then, Ruto was in Migori and Homa Bay County where he commissioned Masara-Suna-Kehancha and Awendo- Mariwa-Oygis roads in November.
Senator Moses Kajwang with other political leaders in Homa Bay had asked him to skip the trip saying he was not welcome to the region before this visit.
He has not been to Siaya since he and the President were re-elected to office in the repeat Presidential election in October 2017.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei, Ruto’s close ally, defended the DP over the claims that he had sidelined the region.
“There is no way he is avoiding Luo Nyanza because Nyanza is part of Kenya and he is the DP of the Republic of Kenya, the people saying that he has avoided Luo Nyanza don’t know his itinerary because as I am aware the DP will work with all Kenyans from all corners, from all tribes,” he said.
The last time he was in Siaya was in July 2015 when he was hosted by Anglican Bishop Johanness Angela in Bondo,which houses his political arch enemy Raila Odinga's home.
The host bishop was reportedly abducted a few days later.
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