Deputy President William Ruto returns to Western today, only two weeks after he toured the region.
He visited on July 6 on a “purely developmental mission”.
He presented buses to Tande Secondary in Malava, Kakamega, and Kimatuni Secondary School in Bumula, Bungoma. He launched the tarmacking of Musanda-Sidindi road in Mumias West.
Today, he will launch construction of the Navakholo branch of the Kenya Medical Training College in Kakamega county and later preside over a fundraiser for Kamusinde Secondary School in Kimilili subcounty, Bungoma.
The DP will inspect development project but is also expected to use the occasion to endear himself to residents ahead of the 2022 presidential election. He is said to be keen on the Western vote bloc as an alternative to the seemingly restive Mt Kenya region.
Ruto has recently come under sharp criticism over his countrywide tours.
His critics have questioned the source of his donations at harambees. He has, however, defended himself, saying he is discharging his DP duties.
Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe yesterday said he expects the DP to “deal with the slow pace of works on the Lurambi-Navakholo-Musikoma road”.
Ruto put the contractor on notice “for doing a shoddy job” when he toured the region two weeks ago. Unconfirmed reports indicate he could unveil a new contractor today.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and the DP launched tarmacking of the road in December 2016 in what was seen as a vote-hunting stunt. Construction only began early this year.
“We also expect the DP to address the ailing Mumias Sugar Company and the sugar industry at large, and the equipping of the Chebuyusi Technical Training Institute, which is almost complete,” Wangwe told the Star on the phone yesterday.
On Monday, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya accused the Jubilee administration of launching “fake projects” in Western and making false statements to remain relevant.
He also lashed out at Ruto for lying that he gave the county Sh150 million for installing a CT scanner at its referral hospital.
Health PS Peter Tum defended Ruto and said the government had provided the machine.
In a rejoinder, Oparanya said, “Ruto said he gave me the money, yet he has never done that. If it’s the CT scanner the PS is talking about, it was dumped at the hospital by the government and no one knows how much was spent on it.”