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Ruto meets Kenyans in UK as Kibagendi reveals UDA’s secret poll plans

Ruto meets Kenyans in UK as Kibagendi reveals UDA’s secret poll plans

By Justus Karanja

Deputy President William Ruto (pictured) met Kenyans living in United Kingdom hours after landing into the country in his three-day tour to consolidate western support.

The Deputy President tweeted that Kenyans in the Diaspora are true hustlers and know the true sense of what hustling means.

“Your stake in Kenya is huge and you must play your part in shaping its destiny to guarantee and safeguard your hard-earned investments. We have an opportunity to move our country forward together,” he tweeted.

During the meeting with Kenyans living in the United Kingdom he was accompanied by Governors  Salim Mvurya (Kwale), Josphat Nanonk (Turkana), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and MPs Soipan Tuya (Narok Woman Representative), Owen Baya (Kilifi North), Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga Woman Representative), Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu).

Others were Elgeyo/Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and economist David Ndii.

A day earlier, Ruto’s Presidential Campaign Secretariat Hustler Plaza located in Ngong Road had released a statement stating the second in command had embarked on his three-day visit of the United Kingdom with a busy schedule that would see his delegation hold private bilateral consultations with the U.K government at both the Whitehall and Parliament, as well as engage policy and business communities and the Kenyan Diaspora in the UK.

Highlights of his public engagements include a conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and a Marlborough Peace Dialogues keynote speech at the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The WSR Presidential Campaign registered appreciation to the government of the United States of America for the time, courtesies and support afforded to Ruto, Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and the entire delegation during the visit to the US.

“We thank Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mary Catherine "Molly" Phee and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Africa Dana Banks and their teams for hosting Dr Ruto and his delegation at the State Department and at the White House, respectively. We also thank all leaders and institutions; Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and his Secretary of State Bob Evnen, the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska business community, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for Strategic and international Studies (CSIS), Arizona State University and the University of Kansas Medical School, for availing platforms for the highly beneficial engagement on issues of critical importance to Kenya, Africa, U.S.A and the world.

Special thanks too to the Kenyan Diaspora in the U.S for their warm welcome, hospitality, and incredibly progressive thoughts on the Kenya we envision,” the statement signed by Hussein Mohamed, Director of Communications, WSR Presidential Campaign, stated.

This came as Anthony Kibagendi, the former Director of Youth Affairs in the Office of Deputy President William Ruto, revealed the strategy and tactic being employed by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in order to sweep county, senatorial and Gubernatorial seats in the 2022 General Election.

Speaking to the media on March 7, Kibagendi noted that the party was conducting many opinion polls to ensure only the strong candidates head to the nominations phase. 

The former director noted that the UDA politicians, while campaigning for the DP, also interacted with Kenyans from different counties in a bid to listen to the candidates they preferred ahead of the polls. 

Kibagendi affirmed that this is a strategy that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) brand is also relying ahead of the primaries to determine their strong candidates.

"I got to the top of the ladder in UDA only to realise that it was leaning on the wrong wall but I can tell you in there that they were doing a lot of opinion polls regularly to try and identify strong candidates."

"I believe it's the same thing that ODM is doing right now that beyond carrying out nominations, they should be able to tell the strong candidates through doing genuine and legitimate opinion polls that will guide them in the way they're going to move forward," Kibagendi stated.

In order to solve the problem whereby a candidate may feel left out, Kibagendi urged the party leaders to offer other opportunities within the party. This, according to Kibagendi, will avoid walkouts that characterize nominations.

"While they're going to work on negotiated democracy and use opinion polls, they should be able to convince people within the party that there are these other opportunities that are available for you and hence you can stick within the party and let us push this forward together," he stated.

Alluding to their working relationship with the DP, Kibagendi maintained that his efforts were crucial in building the UDA brand, particularly in the Kisii region.

 He added that accumulated frustrations within the party pushed him to decamp to the Azimio la Umoja movement led by the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

"Indeed I was very close with the DP and served as an advisor and we did build the UDA brand in Kenya specifically in Kisii where I was playing the role of shadow team leader.

"However, because of accumulated frustrations (individuals who have decided to bring down the energy and presence of the DP in Kisii region) and listening to the ground led to my shifting," he stated.

Kibagendi recently dumped DP Ruto and was welcomed by ODM party leader Raila Odinga to the Azimio movement.

The politician will seek to succeed Richard Onyonka as the member of Parliament (MP) for the Kitutu Chache constituency on an Azimio ticket.

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