Choppers Take Center Stage in the Battle for State House

Raila Odinga with one of his "birds"

One political analyst told The Weekly Vision that ‘’DP Ruto owns 6 helicopters, his team has hired 14 more from within the country, and others are from his friends in Uganda, while Raila Odinga is said to have 19 helicopters available at any one given time

By The Weekly Vision

The battle for State House in this year’s Presidential elections between Raila Odinga and his main challenger William Ruto has reached the most defining stage where the choice of the mode of transport from one political rally to another for efficiency is critical. Helicopters are going to rule the Kenyan Space in the last few weeks to Election Day as politicians crisscross the country to woo supporters for votes.

Soon after The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared politicians to contest for various political seats, the scramble for helicopters was set in motion. One Presidential candidate, William Ruto has about 20 helicopters at his disposal, most of them are hired. Raila Odinga is said to have 19 helicopters available to him whenever he needs to travel. The time frame available to convince voters is extremely limited as Election Day is less than 50 days away.

Part of a fleet of helicopters owned by DP William Ruto

Although huge swathes of the country’s highway networks have in recent years been spruced up to almost impeccable levels, politicians tend to prefer travelling by air, it allows them to cover long distances conducting several campaigns in a single day. The mode is also ideal as it allows politicians to land their choppers close to the scheduled campaign venue when fleets of the off-road four-wheel fuel guzzlers take over.

One political analyst told The Weekly Vision that ‘’DP Ruto owns 6 helicopters, his team has hired 14 more from within the country, and others are from his friends in Uganda, adding that Ruto’s close links to shadowy characters based in Uganda contributed heavily to his irrevocable fall-out with his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta’’.The unnamed characters in Uganda are said to be the ones behind the DP’s aggressive ambitions to become the President in Kenya, to succeed his boss. Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi owns several helicopters, he put them to use during the last general elections during the campaign for Mr Odinga, and they are now at DP Ruto’s disposal.

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli who is Raila Odinga’s vocal supporter is a known proud owner of several choppers that have been deployed to play a central role in Raila Odinga’s presidential campaigns mainly in western Kenya, Nyanza and Rift Valley

A top official at the ODM party who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter said Mr Raila Odinga owns one helicopter but his supporters have more birds placed at his disposal, and the supporters have the financial resources to charter even more if the need arises. She said: “Considering the tight campaign schedule ahead of us, meeting our schedules and deadlines, choppers will have to take centre stage for the rest of the remaining days to the polling date. Our team has supporters with the choppers that will have to be deployed to do the work daily from county to county, sub-county to sub-county all across the nation – we are not taking any chances.”

Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) boss Francis Atwoli who is Raila Odinga’s vocal supporter is a known proud owner of several choppers that have been deployed to play a central role in Raila Odinga’s presidential campaigns mainly in western Kenya, Nyanza and Rift Valley. President Kenyatta has several at his disposal while his wealthy friends from the Mt. Kenya region not only own some but also enjoy massive financial resources to hire more choppers as opposed to DP Ruto’s brigade.

It is doubtful whether other presidential contestants like Prof George Wajackoya of Roots Party and Agano Party Leader Prof David Mwaure Waihiga has the financial might to operate a fleet of choppers like their counterparts in Azimio and Kenya Kwanza.

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