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Azimio heat forces Ruto to change tact

By Justus Karanja

Faced with the stark reality that ODM leader Raila Odinga through the Azimio la Umoja initiative was making inroads even in areas he perceives as his strongholds, Deputy President William Ruto (pictured above) has now changed tact and embraced coalitions.

Ruto, who had ruled out chances of his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) forming a coalition with other parties, has now changed tact as witnessed by the embracing of the Musalia Mudavali-led Amani National Congress (ANC).

On Sunday, Mudavadi and Ruto entered a pact to work together and are set to be joined by Ford-Kenya led by Moses Wetang’ula and William Kabogo’s Tubebe party.

Wetang’ula and Kabogo attended the function and even addressed the delegates.

The major announcement was made as Mudavadi launched his Presidential bid in a grand ceremony attended by Ruto and several other political leaders at Bomas of Kenya.

Ruto who is the UDA Presidential flag bearer declared a series of rallies lined up starting this Wednesday to drum up support for the newly formed alliance with Ford-Kenya and Kabogo’s Tubebe party ahead of August 9 polls.

The DP who graced the ANC national delegates’ conference that endorsed Mudavadi revealed that the two had been having talks geared towards working together.

He said the joint political effort will commence with back to back rallies starting in Nakuru Wednesday, Western Kenya on Friday and the third one in Central Kenya on Saturday.

“We have heard in-depth discussions with my brothers. We will make whatever sacrifices that need to be made to take Kenya to the next level, this will take the hand of God and the people of Kenya,” he said.

“The journey to bring this unity together has started in Bomas, our next stop will be in Nakuru, Wednesday, Friday in Western, and Central Kenya on Saturday.  We will tell you what the journey will look like. Ours will be a discussion, conversation and a journey involving millions of Kenyans, time is of the essence and it is about time,” he stated.

He described the ANC party leader as a man who is tested, focused and able to drive the nation’s agenda with his ‘Uchumi Bora, Pesa Mfukoni economic model.

Ruto changed tact after realising the ground is shifting and chances of him losing the presidential race are now real.

For instance, Raila has made several tours in Mt Kenya to sell his Azimio and the reception has been encouraging.

It is after analysing the changing political trends that his advisers comprising technocrats, political scientists, media moguls and other professionals advised him to embrace coalitions just like his rival, Raila.

His team of advisers comprises Dr David Ndii, who has become the face of the bottom-up economic model, a Commissioner on Revenue Allocation Dr Irene Asienga, Augustine Cheruiyot and Dr Mugambi Mureithi.

Others are Prof Raphael Munavu, Prof Joseph Nzomoi, Prof Peter Lewa, Dr Kithiyo Matemo, Prof Emmanuel Mutisya, Eng. Dennis Mwangangi, Eng. Pius Kathusya, Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok and Dr Korir Sing'oei, the head of law and policy at the DP's office.

Also on the list are lawyer Katwa Kigen, management consultant Eliud Owalo and Prof Edward Kisiangani.

The team has advised Ruto to stop dismissing regional kingpins as inconsequential but rather embrace them as he seeks coalitions with them.

Ruto has also been advised to stop endorsing aspirants for elective seats but rather allow all UDA hopefuls to contest in a free and fair nomination.

That’s why he is now on all his rallies reiterating that UDA primaries will be free and fair. 

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