Setback for Ruto as Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar and top Riftvalley politicians join Raila

Azimio La Umoja Presidential hopeful Raila Odinga’s bid has received a major stimulus as he claims top Rift Valey guns for his campaign machine.

This is after Uasin Gishu Senator Prof. Margaret Kamar, Former Powerful Minister Sally Kosgey, Former Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and former Marakwet East MP Linah Chebii Kilimo joined the Azimio La Umoja team on Thursday.

They have promised to bag over 2.5 million votes for Baba in the region that has been perceived as the bastion of Deputy President William Ruto.

At the moment, the State House race appears to be a battle between Raila and DP Ruto and any gains in each other’s backyard cannot be ignored as the clock ticks towards August 9 polls.

The defections from Rift valley are a pointer to the emerging political dynamics that have seen the former premier’s campaign gaining traction in a region that was initially seen as being under lock and key for DP Ruto.

Analysts say that as Raila has attracted the crème de la crème in recent months, he has created a mental victory mindset among both his supporters and opponents especially in areas that did not vote for him in 2013 and 2017 elections.

Nairobi-based analyst Joshua Makhoha said in politics, public perception is essential as it attracts voters towards the perceived winning side.

“It is apparently clear people naturally want to identify with the winning team. Raila has in the previous elections managed to use this skill unsuccessfully. Apart from politicians following the wave that is popular in their regions, Raila is also maximising public perception in his campaign strategies,” he told News Today.

Raila’s latest catch is after Mt Kenya tycoons and top Maa community leaders inked a deal on Tuesday to rally behind Raila’s bid to be president.

The leaders met at the Safari Park Hotel where they signed an MoU to support Rala. This was the second public meeting the influential team organised outside the Gema community.

The meeting with the Maa community comes a month after the MKF officials met leaders from Northeastern Kenya who also agreed to support the Azimio La Umoja candidate.

Another big boost for Raila was on January 18 when over 30 Governors endorsed the ODM leader’s Presidential bid stating they are confident that he will protect devolution as provided for under the Constitution.

The county chiefs led by Council of Governors (COG) Chairman Martin Wambora and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said they decided to support Odinga due to his role in championing the devolution agenda.

A day later Leaders from arid and semi-arid lands under the Upya Movement pledged to support Raila.

Raila, in return, said he will hand over his manifesto to Upya leaders led by National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani for incorporation of the views of ASAL communities.

“My manifesto is ready and I will give you sections that concern your areas for input but keep it secret until the time we will be launching it,” the ODM boss said.

So far Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) continues to fight the damage inflicted by the rival Azimio movement after its Kakamega rally late last year.

The party has been trying to control damage by downplaying the defection of its MPs and MCAs and the impact of the Western Azimio dubbed Bukhungu II on its support base.

ANC has taken the brunt of Azimio raid in Western after its deputy party leader and Lugari MP Ayub Savula, his Teso North MP Oku Kaunya, Matungu MP, Peter Oscar Nabulindo and several MCAs defected and declared support for the former prime minister’s bid

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