Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday, May 25, suspended a Kenya Kwanza rally in Busia County to avert clashing with Azimio One Kenya flagbearer Raila Odinga.
UDA National Vice-Treasurer Mary Emase confirmed to a Kenyans.co.ke reporter that the rally scheduled to be held at Simba Chai on Thursday, May 26, was put off since Raila was scheduled to hold a rally in neighbouring Amukura.
Emase noted that the rally has been rescheduled for Friday, tentatively but may be suspended indefinitely – further lamenting that Azimio had engaged in foul play.
DP William Ruto addresses a crowd during a Kenya Kwanza rally at the Msabaha stadium in Kilifi county on Wednesday, May 25, 2022.
“We cannot hold that rally because they want to interfere with our programmes, that amounts to disturbance. They knew very well that our rally was in Simba Chai and they went ahead to organise theirs in Amukura which is very close,” she stated.
The UDA official explained that the DP was to hold a rally in Ang’urai in Teso North on Friday where he was scheduled to meet Kenya Kwanza leaders and supporters and may try to fix the Simba Chai visit on the same day.
Nonetheless, she admitted the likelihood of cancelling the entire tour of the region and holding one which would bring together all leaders in Kenya Kwanza for a grand rally.
Ruto, who is currently in the Coast region on a four-day tour where he was holding economic forums and rallies, dispatched co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula to hold campaigns in Western where he was set to feature in the final meeting.
On the other hand, the former Premier began his five-day tour of the Western region on Wednesday, May 25, by holding a rally in Vihiga County. He will be expected to tour Kakamega, Bungoma, and Busia counties.
Ruto is hell-belt to break the political monopoly that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s handshake partner has enjoyed in Western Kenya with the help of Musalia and Wetangula, who have been tasked with delivering a minimum 70 per cent of the vote.
Speaking during a rally on Tuesday, May 24, UDA gubernatorial candidate Boni Khalwale told Kakamega residents to vote for Ruto, who has promised to bring development to the region, accusing Raila of sidelining them.
The country’s Number Two is seeking to avoid a repeat of unfortunate events that happened in Kisumu, where his motorcade was pelted with stones after he ignored warnings by the police of possible mayhem.
The decision to postpone Ruto’s rally came amid calls by religious and government leaders for political tolerance and peaceful campaigns ahead of the August 9 General Election.
Azimio One Kenya Presidential running mate Martha Karua (left) and flagbearer Raila Odinga during a rally at the Ole Ntimama Stadium on Sunday, May 22, 2022,