Did William Samoei Ruto’s Coast UDA Tour Make Inroads
By Mwakera mwajefa
This question draws two sets of answers depending on which political divide you ask.
If you go with the ODM wing, the answer is an emphatic no; while when you go with the UDA-Coastal wing, the answer is an emphatic yes.
However, for nonpartisan, WSR’s forays may go to waste if he does not deal with those who have ‘monopolized’ him for selfish gains.
From Taita Taveta’s former governor John Mruttu and woman representative Lydia Mizighi; Kwale’s Khatib Mwashetani; Mombasa’s former senator Hassan Omar and Nyali MP Mohamed Ali to Kilifi’s Aisha Jumwa and Owen Baya, other Coastal politicians are viewed as intruders and persona non grata to WSR and UDA.
In short, the ‘hustler narrative’ is a patterned property for exclusive members of a closed shop where any supporter perceived to oppose the region’s ‘inner circle’ is elbowed out of accessing DP Ruto.
This has sparked grumbles, protests and fears that UDA brokers will tamper with party primary nomination exercise against Ruto’s promise of no sacred cows in the outfit.
Another worrying trend witnessed during the six-day forays was supporters’ open demands for money from WSR that at many times generated into commotions and jostling from the milling crowds that’s hard to discern whether it was there for Ruto or for his money!
Apart from Mwashetani (Jubilee), majority of WSR’s Coast camp is made up of disgruntled politicians who won their seats through ODM ticket.
For WSR to test their loyalty, he should order them to conduct individual public rallies within their backyards to shoo the numbers they have for UDA.
Otherwise, the way they have monopolized his visit for personal gains speaks loudly of their political inadequacies in the region.
To absolutely win the region and dislodge Raila Amolo Odinga’s grip, WSR and UDA will have to discard the elitist tag and lone-ranger politics.
The moneybag stain witnessed in all the stops done in five out of the six counties should be erased ahead of the 2022 general election.
But the greatest failure of the six-day whirlwind forays was to bag even a single governor to back his call from the region!
This indicates the difficulty and prevailing doubt on whether WSR and UDA have the muscle to dislodge ODM’s dominance from the region after years (2013-2021) of doing so with little to show.