•Dr Rutto met the newly elected directors and members of the governing councils in Kisumu to seek their support.
•He has traversed more than 34 counties to woo voters ahead of the polls slated for June 8, 2023, as he seeks to replace Ngatia.
The Kenya National Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI) vice president Erick Rutto has intensified his campaigns to oust incumbent president Richard Ngatia.
Rutto, who toured Nambole Factory in Siaya county on Thursday, has traversed more than 34 counties to woo votes ahead of the polls slated for June 8, 2023.
Ngatia is eying to retain the seat.
Before heading to Siaya, he met the newly elected directors and members of the governing councils in Kisumu to seek their support.
“We want a legitimate and clean leadership at the top that has the integrity to inspire business in the country,” he said.
He pointed out that they want to transform internal mechanisms on how the chamber should be governed.
During the meeting, the directors pledged to support his bid.
The medical doctor and healthcare entrepreneur was accompanied by his Vice president Mustafa Ramadhan and directors from Kirinyaga, Embu, Nyandarua, Homa Bay, Migori, Uasin Gishu, Vihiga and Machakos counties.
Nyanza Chamber’s regional director Paul Ouma and directors Pauline Akwacha and Albert Ojonyo were present.
Ken Onditi, an electrical engineer, wants to replace Ouma.
Others eying the director position are Duncan Ochieng and former Chamber CEO Ben Kitoto.
Onditi, who is in the camp of Rutto, is widely seen as the top contender for regional director according to the Chamber members.
Rutto, who is banking on the massive support across the country, said his team was committed to redeeming the face of the Chamber to make it more vibrant.
“We want to connect the opportunities at the headquarters to the chapters. Business people know what they want. They only want a voice to lobby for their needs and that is what we are going to offer,” he said.
Rutto said when elected, they will organize themselves and negotiate in mass in line with the government's plans to invest in value chains to improve the economy and create employment.
For instance, he said in the Lake region there is a cotton and blue economy which are amongst the nine value chains which the government targets to invest in to create jobs.
“We want to lobby as business people in these value chains which will be able to create thousands of jobs for the unemployed youths,” Rutto said.
He noted that there are more than six million unemployed people.
He also toured Migori, Nyamira, Kisii, Homa Bay and Siaya counties where he met directors in his extensive vote hunt.
“We want to build a strong Chamber that will position our businesses in the global market share,” Rutto said.
He runs healthcare facilities, a 150-bed capacity hospital in Nairobi and in Eldoret, and four other clinics.
Rutto, who has employed 450 staff, said he pays tax promptly noting that he was honoured in 2019 as the business that pays tax to the last coin.
He expressed confidence to clinch the seat when the 517 directors went to the ballot.