Recent political developments have forced William Ruto to go back to the drawing board to forge a new lineup in Western region ahead of 2022.
Sources within United Democratic Alliance have it that the current political leadership is seemingly hostile to the DP, and the party is now banking on new comers after MPs Malulu Injendi (Malava), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), John Waluke (Sirisia), Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West) whose faith has become uncertain. Others who were in the Ruto camp are Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Moses Mabonga (Bumula), Charles Gimose (Hamisi), Elsie Muhanda (woman rep, Kakamega), Naomi Shiyonga (nominated senator), and former Kakamega senator Bonnie Khalwale.
Although Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya has dismissed reports that he is planning to ditch ODM and back Ruto, indicators show that the county boss is among those lined up to lead Ruto campaigns in Western region. Matters are not rosy for Ruto following a new wave that was brought about by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, and his Ford-K counterpart Moses Wetang’ula that saw ANC win in Matungu by-elections and Ford-K recapture the Kabuchai seat in the by-elections. Oparanya who is the ODM deputy party leader has met Ruto several times to discuss 2022 politics, but insists that the consultations should not be construed to mean that he is planning to abandon Raila Odinga.
The deputy president’s allies in Western have been struggling to say that his support in the region is intact despite conflicting statements by his backers. Recently, Washiali said that remarks by Barasa and Waluke do not mean that the DP’s Western command is crumbling. The MPs who are continuing to give the DP a wide berth include Shinali, Wangwe and Injendi. Former Sports cabinet secretary Rashid Echesa has remained steadfast behind Ruto’s presidential bid, and is more reliable. Eliud Owalo is UDA regional coordinator of Nyanza and Western. The DP is working on a new strategy to have strong faces lead his Western region 2022 presidential campaign.