Having less than six months until the presidential election on August 9, the country’s electoral map is beginning to take shape with some regions forming battlegrounds that will determine who will be the next president.
The Deputy President William Ruto is expected to conduct a campaign tour in Kiambu County with the Kenya Kwanza brigade.
The DP and his team will visit a number of locations, beginning with the launching of a community water project in the Jamaica area of the Githùngùri Constituency.
The Kenya Kwanza caravan will next travel to the retail centres of Kambaa, Kamburu and Kahuruko where they will address roadside crowds.
The crew will make similar stops in the afternoon at the Kagwe and Mungngere shopping malls.
Meanwhile, Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja movement is preparing for a four-day visit to the Coast region.
On Saturday, the Azimio crew will begin their journey down the coast at Kilifi before moving on to Mombasa on Sunday.
The Odinga brigade will be in Kwale County on Monday before concluding their journey in Taita Taveta on Tuesday.
At the same time, in Bomas, the NARC party commanded by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has today convened its National Delegates Conference (NDC).
Odinga has attended the NDC at the Bomas of Kenya just moments after jetting into the country from India.
Kibwana’s Muungano Party and Ngilu’s Narc Party held joint NDCs and are expected to join Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja movement ahead of the August 9, elections.
The development of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance and signs that President Uhuru Kenyatta may support Odinga and the Azimio movement for the presidency might change the political landscape ahead of the elections.
According to the current opinion polls, Western Kenya, Central Kenya, Northern Eastern Kenya, Ukambani, Maa counties, Turkana, Meru, Nairobi, and the Coast are emerging as important battlegrounds in the contest between Ruto and Odinga.
Ruto and Odinga teams have been frantically traveling to swing regions on vote-gathering missions, while President Kenyatta is thought to be plotting a huge assault on the Mt Kenya region, which has been leaning towards Ruto, in an attempt to turn the tables on his deputy.
An opinion poll released yesterday by Trends and Insights Africa Research (Tifa) revealed that Ruto and Odinga remain the top two candidates, as they have for the past two years.
According to the poll, 38 per cent of those polled would vote for Ruto while 27 per cent would vote for Odinga.
In the Central Rift, Ruto has a majority 61 per cent while in Mt. Kenya he is three times more popular at 49 per cent than Odinga who has 16 per cent.
In Nyanza and Nairobi, Odinga’s popularity is nearly twice that of Ruto with 48 per cent while Ruto is at 23 per cent and 38 per cent vs. 21 per cent respectively.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s prospects of joining the Azimio la Umoja Movement have been hampered by bribery allegations, with governors from the Ukambani region claiming he is demanding billions of shillings to join the coalition.
Governors Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Ngilu (Kitui), and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) ruffled feathers stating they were aware of secret financial demands issued before considering supporting Odinga’s presidential bid again in the coming elections.
However, Musyoka has provided the clearest signal yet that he may strike a political compromise with Kenyatta and Azimio leader Odinga.
Kalonzo, a member of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), said his group was willing to talk to other political parties that shared their values.
Wiper party leader, who has recently come under tremendous pressure from Ukambani governors to join Raila’s Azimio movement claimed he will not be forced to do so citing he is a “negotiator.”
If OKA and the Azimio La Umoja team negotiate, he claims they will do so on an equal footing.
“I tell Azimio La Umoja to relax. I am a diplomat and I cannot be dragged into it. I urge leaders to look at me with two eyes,” Kalonzo said.