The scramble for votes in Rift Valley, western and Nyanza regions has intensified, with both Jubilee and opposition leaders pitching tent for the second week to mobilise listing of voters and popularising their parties.
Deputy President William Ruto, Cord leader Raila Odinga and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi retreated to their political backyards, pushing for large numbers of people to register as voters.
While Mr Ruto visited Kericho, Bomet, Nandi and Baringo counties over the weekend to mobilise voter registration and drum up support for the Jubilee Party in the vote-rich region, Mr Odinga will from Monday tour Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Elgeyo-Marakwet and Turkana counties, with each vowing to outsmart the other in the General Election.
The DP, while addressing voters in Baringo on Saturday, exuded confidence that Jubilee would win a second term in office to complete some of its pending projects.
He cautioned Rift Valley residents against ‘gambling’ with their votes noting that their enlisting as voters was crucial for Jubilee’s victory.
“Unlike the opposition who are obsessed with empty rhetoric, we are focused on service delivery and that is why we are seeking a second term,” said Mr Ruto.
He recently hosted a delegation of leaders from various counties in western Kenya at his Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu County and another in Karen, Nairobi, to solidify Jubilee Party support especially his Rift Valley turf.
Mr Odinga will tour the four North Rift counties to mobilise voters to register in a move to reclaim its ‘lost glory’ and claim victory against Jubilee.
His visit comes amid fears of slow listing, especially in insecurity-prone parts of the North Rift characterised by recurrent attacks caused by retaliatory cattle raids.
According to North Rift IEBC regional coordinator Bilha Kiptugen, the commission was targeting 700,000 new voters in the region.
“In areas where there is insecurity, we will ensure that our staff are escorted by police officers to guarantee their security. We will move to where they have moved with their animals,” said Mrs Kiptugen.
The Jubilee Party and opposition leaders in the region have disclosed plans to hold meetings to consolidate their support.
“We should not allow party politics to dictate the category of leaders who will be voted in this General Election. The electorate should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights and elect leaders of their choice without intimidation,” said Mr Micah Kigen, who seeks to contest the Keiyo South parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket.
Kanu, which enjoys support in the region, is torn between whether to support Jubilee or the opposition.
The National Executive Council has mandated party chairman Gideon Moi to consult on the matter and report back within two weeks.
On Sunday, Mr Mudavadi campaigned in Bungoma where he urged those with IDs to register in large numbers to give him the strength to win the National Super Alliance (Nasa) ticket. “I want you to register in large numbers and give the strength I need to represent you at the top level,” he said.
Mr Ruto is expected in Kakamega today, with Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali saying the visit by the DP is meant to send a message to the Opposition that Jubilee was strong in western and was confident of victory in the region.
“The Opposition should know Jubilee has a vibrant team that will campaign aggressively and propel the party to victory in the five counties in western,’ he said after a church service.