Battle for Western Kenya voters between ODM and UDA heats up

DP William Ruto and Raila Odinga

The two top presidential contenders in next years elections, William Ruto of UDA and Raila Odinga of ODM

At least four million voters, most of them first-time voters are said to be undecided and are waiting for OKA to name its presidential candidate public before they make their choice

By The Weekly Vision Online

Following the unveiling of his presidential bid at Kasarani last Friday, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has locked horns with Deputy President William Ruto for the critical votes from Western and Eastern Kenya. According to a recent TIFA opinion poll, DP Ruto of the UDA party leads the pack in the presidential race with Mr Odinga of ODM trailing him, eight months to the poll.

The battle has now shifted to areas where the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) has a massive following, in Western, Eastern parts of Coast, and North Eastern Kenya. At least four million voters, most of them first-time voters are said to be undecided and are waiting for OKA to name its presidential candidate public before they make their choice. In a swift response to this development, DP Ruto has camped in the Butali region of Western Kenya from where he invited OKA co-principal and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi to jump on the Hustler bandwagon, dismissing Mr Odinga as “mutu wa vitendewili” (a man of folk stories)!

According to a spokesman at the OKA secretariat, the alliance has promised to respond to Ruto’s invitation later, even as the final day for political party’s to name their presidential flag-bearer approaches

DP Ruto told a cheering crowd that ODM had subjected Mr Mudavadi to a humiliating “interview” over a botched attempt to win his support in the 2022 presidential election. Ruto said Mudavadi was better off working with UDA in the 2022 poll; he failed short of stating what position the ANC leader would be getting as the DP is yet to name his running-mate.

According to a spokesman at the OKA secretariat, the alliance has promised to respond to Ruto’s invitation later, even as the final day for political party’s to name their presidential flag-bearer approaches. Mr Mudavadi’s ANC outfit has set December 26 as the deadline for naming OKA flag-bearer or else it pulls out of the alliance to run separately, however, many discerning political watchers warn that it would be a repeat of 2013, he would lose badly.

OKA’s only chance of making an impact, many election strategists warn is to either unite under one of them or form an alliance with one of the two main contenders, Raila or Ruto. A calculating Ruto aware of the massive political odds growing as his clout diminishes in the Mount Kenya region thanks to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s top aides, is now committed to winning OKA to his side.

OKA co-principals who have backed Odinga since 2013 is now said to be reluctant to repeat “history” with claims that Raila had twice short-changed them, through the mock swearing-in at Uhuru Park and later the handshake with President Kenyatta. Raila’s appearance alone at Uhuru Park on January 31 2018 painted his other NASA associates in a bad light. Moses Wetangula FORD Kenya, Wiper’s Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and Mudavadi of ANC were a no show annoying thousands of supporters! Later COTU boss Francis Atwoli dismissed them as “cowards”

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