Deputy President William Ruto has reverted to the Mt Kenya region with a new strategy to woo voters.
In contrast to his previous well-attended public rallies, yesterday the DP held direct engagement forums in Nyeri County, where he listened to locals’ concerns and proposed solutions.
The shift in strategy comes amid the ongoing efforts by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta to reverse his gains in the region over the last four years.
The Azimio la Umoja brigade, led by Uhuru and Raila, has planned a series of rallies across the region in an attempt to turn the tide against the DP which has long been regarded as the people’s favourite ahead of this year’s election.
Speaking to hundreds of stakeholders gathered at the Brookside Ridge Gardens in Nyeri town, the DP announced that his five-member committee of economic experts, led by economist David Ndii, will now travel around the country collecting views from all economic players in all 47 counties, beginning with Nyeri.
“We are launching public engagement forums using a bottom-up approach so that we can have the minimums we can deliver as a government should we get into office,” he said.
He stated that the forums will eventually result in a national economic charter based on county documents that capture specific priorities.
The same will constitute a binding contract between him and Kenyans, committing him to address issues if he forms the government.
“We are going to change our national conversation from sharing political power to that of people and their economy. We said that we will do this but we were not taken seriously. Our opponents should now know that this is what we stand for,” Ruto said.
He pointed out that the exercise will go on in other counties for the next 60 days after which a national signing event will be held.
The move has probed the question whether his Mt Kenya allies who are ostensibly meant to ensure that he does not lose his ground are doing their due diligence.
Late last year Ruto accused a section of Mt Kenya leaders of betrayal for campaigning for ODM Party leader in the region.
Speaking in Kirinyaga after attending a church service, Ruto said it is unfortunate that the same people he campaigned with in the last elections are now campaigning for Raila who was their opponent then.
“We traversed this Country with President Uhuru Kenyatta and all those leaders in 2013 and 2017, both times we won the election. What has come of us that after mobilizing millions of votes in those elections we don’t have someone to lead us now such that they have brought Raila as the alternative leader?” He posed.
His Mt Kenya allies comprise those elected on an independent ticket, other parties and a majority of them from the Jubilee party.