DEFECTIONS SEASON

Ruto reaps big as alignments start ahead of 2022

The DP has raided his opponents' camps, bagging the coveted support of influential leaders

In Summary

• The defections have exposed the emerging political dynamics that could force the top presidential aspirants back to the drawing board to decide how to stop the DP.

• Ruto expected in Coast region where he is likely to receive more defectors

Deputy President William Ruto with Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko at Ilpolosat Farm in Kajiado county on Tuesday. She joined UDA.
DP RUTO: Deputy President William Ruto with Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko at Ilpolosat Farm in Kajiado county on Tuesday. She joined UDA.
Image: DPPS

Deputy President William  Ruto's presidential bid has received a major stimulus as he claims regional top guns for his campaign machine.

The DP is the biggest beneficiary of recent defections of influential figures from around the country, giving him a head start in the battle for votes and control of the counties.

The DP has raided his opponents’ camps clinching the coveted support of leaders who can sway their communities.

At this time, the State House race appears to be a battle between Ruto, ODM leader Raila Odinga and the One Kenya Alliance.

Oka brings together Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya). Gideon already has created unease in Oka after his delegates acclaimed him the Kanu flag-bearer.

The defections have exposed the emerging political dynamics that could force top presidential aspirants back to the drawing board to decide how to stop the DP's momentum.

Analysts say that as the DP has attracted the crème de la crème in recent months, he has created a mental victory mindset among both his supporters and opponents.

Nairobi-based analyst Peter Mugwe said in politics, public perception is essential as it attracts voters towards the perceived winning side.

“People naturally want to identify with the winning team. The DP has in the previous elections managed to use this skill successfully. Apart from politicians following the wave that is popular in their regions, Ruto is also maximising the public perception,” he told the Star.

Ruto’s latest catch includes ODM-nominated MP Wilson Sossion who on Monday publicly announced that he now subscribes to the DP’s hustler movement and the bottom-up economic model being propagated by Ruto.

The immediate former Kenya National Union of Teacher secretary general who met the DP at his Karen residence said he has joined Ruto because the DP is one of the few brave Africa leaders to design a pro-common man agenda.

“As Kenyan labourers, we are with you 100 per cent to make sure you are the next president,” he assured the DP.

Sossion has expressed interest in the Bomet senatorial seat next year and he is expected to fight for the UDA ticket against incumbent Senator Christopher Langat.

Last week, Ruto’s camp also savoured a sweet multiple victories victory as the DP’s fierce critic Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko crossed over to his side.

As the DP was receiving Tobiko into his fold, his party was also receiving The Service Party deputy secretary general Njogu Barua and also People's Empowerment Party executive director Sandra Kimani.

Two weeks go, TSP  suffered another major blow after its director of political affairs and campaigns, John Methu, followed in the footsteps of former national organising secretary general Karungó Wa Thangwá who also joined UDA.

From Thursday until Tuesday next week, the DP is expected to pitch camp in the Coastal counties of Taita Taveta, Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Tana River.

During the campaign blitz, some politicians who have been fence-sitting are expected to Join the DP's camp.

There are speculations that during his Kwale tour, Ruto is likely to formally receive former TV journalist Mwanaisha Chidzuga who is eyeing the Matuga parliamentary seat.

In Taita Taveta, some MPs and politicians will be unveiled, having shed their pro-handshake credentials and support for the pact between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

Edited by Kiilu Damaris