A section of Coast leaders allied to the Opposition have vowed to back Deputy President William Ruto for the country’s top seat come 2022.
The leaders who included Governor Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Ali Mbogo (Kisauni), Lydia Haika (Women Rep, Taita Taveta), Jones Mlolwa (Voi) and Danson Mwashako (Wundanyi) said Mr Ruto was well placed to take over the leadership of the country from President Uhuru Kenyatta when his term comes to an end in 2022.
Speaking at the St Barnabas Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Voi, attended by Mr Ruto, Jumwa said as Coast MPs they would rally their supporters behind the leadership of Mr Ruto, saying he has what it takes to lead the country when the times comes.
Mr Samboja (Wiper) said he was optimistic that Mr Ruto will take over the leadership of the country come 2022.
“Tomorrows journey is planned today. William Ruto will be our president come 2022, not through witches but through our prayers,” said Mr Samboja.
“Who could imagine that I could meet and work with William Ruto after being on the other side of the Opposition? What happened is now water under the bridge. It’s now a point of no return,” said Ms Jumwa.
“We can’t stop an idea whose time has come. 2022, it’s William Ruto. We want to assure you of our support when that time comes,” added Ms Jumwa.
Ms Jumwa (ODM) said Mr Ruto stood the best chance to take over from President Kenyatta come 2022.
She praised the unity pact between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, saying other leaders should follow suit.
“As I commend Mr Ruto for bringing all of us together as leaders, I also want to say he has a better chance of succeeding President Kenyatta come 2022,” said Ms Jumwa.
She said nothing would stop her from campaigning for the election of Mr Ruto as the country’s president come 2022.
The leaders praised the unity pact between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, saying there was no permanent enmity in politics.
Mr Mwashako said the people of Coast would make informed choices come 2022 so as not to be in Opposition.
“We know you have plan to contest for the top seat come 2022 and we will make informed choices before then. We will not afford to be in the Opposition again,” said Mr Mwashako.
Mr Mlolwa said it was time leaders shook hands and embrace teamwork in addressing challenges facing the country.
“As leaders from Coast region we have now resolved to shake hands and work together in ensuring the success of the implementation of the Government’s Big Four agenda,” said Mr Mlolwa.
The leaders spoke a day after more than 20 MPs allied to Orange Democratic Movements accompanied the Deputy President during his three-day visit of the Coast region.
Others were Governor Granton Samboja (Taita Taveta), MPs Mpuri Aburi (EALA), Nixon Korir (Langata), Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), George Kariuki (Ndia) and Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo).
Mr Aburi and Mr Kuria said people of Mt Kenya and Central regions would rally their support for Mr Ruto come 2022.
“Mr Ruto stood by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013 and in 2017. We will not, we will never abandon him come 2022. Take it from me and believe in me,” said Mr Aburi.
The Deputy President who wound up his three-day tour of coastal region assured Kenyans that the Government would not relent in its efforts of unifying the country.
He told leaders to borrow a leaf from President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga and work together for the sake of unity and development.
“It is now our turn as leaders to unite and build bridges of friendship and brotherhood for the benefit of our people as demonstrated by President Uhuru Kenyatta and our brother Raila Odinga,” said Mr Ruto.
He said the Government was clear and genuine in what the country wants to achieve for the sake of the current and future generations.
Mr Ruto said leaders should use the country’s diversity for the national good instead of abusing it for their personal gains.
Earlier, while addressing students of Voi Boys High School and Voi Primary School, the Deputy President said the Government will continue to expand education opportunities for the benefit of all citizens.
“We will continue to implement programmes aimed at making our country a better home for all its citizens,” said Mr Ruto.