Kenyatta to Hunt for Votes in Western Kenya

President Uhuru Kenyatta greets supporters who turned up for a Jubilee rally in Samata Nadara, Nayandarua County, on October 7, 2017.
29 September 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto will pitch camp in the Western region starting today, in a bid to hunt for votes ahead of the scheduled fresh presidential elections.

His tour will start in Busia, traditionally an ODM zone, but which has lately seen some former leaders decamp to Jubilee Party. Former Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba and former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma have become the ruling party's strongest supporters.

Dr Otuoma, who unsuccessfully ran for Busia Governor, last week hosted the Deputy President at his Funyula home where they met hundreds of local Jubilee delegates to prepare the ground for today's tour.


The President will then head to Bungoma for the homecoming ceremony of Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka who is also former Bungoma Governor.

On Saturday, the President will head to Kakamega County for "a consultative meeting with leaders from western region on."

The President's tour is part of a campaign by Jubilee targeting to win support from the region ahead of the fresh presidential elections set for October 26.

Western is a perceived National Super Alliance (Nasa) stronghold but Jubilee clinched eight parliamentary seats in Kakamega and Bungoma County.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu indicated that President Kenyatta will meet some 20,000 leaders in Kakamega and later attend a homecoming party for Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali.

Preparations for the Kakamega meeting were in top gear at the Approved School grounds next to the Masinde Muliro University.


Police chiefs and administration officials inspected the grounds and later headed for a security meeting chaired by the western region commissioner Mr Mongo Chimwaga.

Kakamega Central Division Police chief Mr Bernstein Shari said the preparations were going according to plan.

A team handling preparations for the function was busy setting up tents and setting up the public address systems at the venue.

Mr Washiali said the President Kenyatta will meet Jubilee delegates from the 33 constituencies from western region.

"We are working with Jubilee MPs and aspirants who contested on Jubilee ticket during the August 8 election from each constituency to organise for the delegates. We anticipate to host over 1600 opinion leaders from four counties of western," said Mr Washiali.

The leaders will then move to Mumias East for the homecoming ceremony of Mr Washiali at Shitoto village in the afternoon.

Mr Washiali, a key Jubilee pointman dismissed the petition filed by his opponent, Mr David Wamatsi as lacking the threshold to nullify his victory.

"Even if the court rules in his favour, I will have served my term as a member of the 12th Parliament and that is why I will be celebrating my victory on Saturday," he said.


Mr Washiali confirmed that all preparations in Kakamega were at an advanced stage.

He said President is expected to address his plans towards revival of the limping Mumias Sugar Company.

"President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have shown their interest in pumping live into Mumias Sugar Company because they understand it supports the livelihood of millions of Kenyans," said Mr Washiali.

Mumias East deputy county commissioner Willy Cheboi cautioned youths against being used by the opposition to attempt to disrupt the president's tour.

"We are aware that some leaders from Nasa in this region are planning to plant youths along the road to heckle the president. Let such youths understand that they will face the full force of the law, should they attempt to disrupt the president's visit," cautioned Mr Cheboi.

Reporting by Gaitano Pesa, Benson Amadala and Derick Luvega

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