Why is Ruto after the Luhya?
27 December 2015, 10:40
Nairobi - It is not a secret that Deputy President William Ruto badly covets the Luhya vote. But why?
Ruto has made a number of high profile visits to Western Kenya in 2015 and just recently hosted a number of Luhya leaders at his home in Sugoi all at his expense.
But why is Ruto so keen on the Luhya vote?
First of all, it is a numbers game.
The Luhya community is at present the biggest in the country in terms of population and with continued insistence by political folk over voter registration, could end up being the biggest voter-wise in the country (even more than the Kikuyu) by the turn of the 2017 General Election.
If and its a big if, they could have a united Luhya front, then it would be a huge factor come the polls and Ruto knows it.
" The DP is a friend of the region. He has always been and this is just a way of showing and enhancing his friendship," Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka who led the 2,500 strong delegation to visit Ruto on Tuesday told News24.
Lusaka, who is chairman of the New Ford Kenya Party which will join the ruling Jubilee Party come the new year says that Luhya's want to see development and that it will be offered by being in government.
" We want to see development and we have got just that. There have been many roads built and hundreds of initiatives started in Western Kenya and we want that to continue," he added.
It will be tough for Ruto though.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi are the region's most respected leaders and both of them are serving an opposition agenda.
The key will be to get one on board, at-least to split the vote come 2017 if the plan of landing the whole vote fails.
Wetangula on one hand has the most clout, as together with CORD leader Raila Odinga, they eat up most of the Luhya pie. If Mudavadi can come on board and form a coalition with the two leaders, it would be a great coup for the CORD leader Odinga.
Thus it means that the one likely to be convinced by Ruto is Mudavadi who was on the brink of working with President Uhuru Kenyatta and the DP back in the 2013 elections.
Whether that will be achieved remains to be seen.
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