Deputy President William Ruto’s inroads into Nyanza region appear to be taking shape as he seeks to penetrate ODM leader Raila Odinga’s stronghold.
A week after his visit to South Nyanza, the DP’s handlers are now laying the ground to what will become his maiden political tour of Luo Nyanza.
Mr Ruto is expected to tour Kisumu next week.
His pointmen in the region include Mr Eliud Owallo, Mr Odinga’s former strategist.
Mr Owallo led a delegation of youths from Siaya and Kisumu counties to the DP’s residence on Monday where he announced his decision to join the Ruto camp.
Mr Owallo recently ditched Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress party.
Another Ruto pointman is former Kisumu Trade and Industrialisation executive Richard Ogendo, who hosted the DP’s allies in Dunga recently.
Most of those supporting the DP are former ODM loyalists who fell out with the party.
Presently, there are two groups championing the DP’s cause in the region — the Nyanza Youth Movement for Ruto 2022 and the Nyanza Young Aspirants Movement for William Ruto 2022.
The two groups will receive the DP in Kisumu next week on a tour that will see him visit a few churches where he will be holding fundraisers and later distribute donations to women and youth groups.
Mr John Odenyo, the secretary of the Nyanza Youth Movement for Ruto 2022, said they are looking forward to the DP’s visit.
“We want the Hustler to know that we are behind him and we are glad he honoured our invitation. We have been holding meetings to plan for the visit,” he said.
Mr Odenyo said many youths in the region identify with DP’s viewpoints. “We want to move from conservative to progressive and liberal politics that will bring development to our people.”
Mr Oliver Ochieng, a member of the movement, said they decided to chart a new political path because they have been sidelined by ODM for years.
“These leaders only call us to cause chaos, which has left some dead and many others with injuries, yet nobody cares after that,” said Mr Ochieng.
Mr Lucas Otieno said ODM should stop criticising the DP for his empowerment initiatives.
The Nyanza Young Aspirants Movement for William Ruto 2022, led by Mr Fredrick Oduor Omondi, said that the youth are attracted to the DP’s leadership style.
However, the ODM party leadership in Kisumu, through Prof Ayiecho Olweny, has downplayed the planned visit, saying, it would not affect the region’s politics in any way.
“He is free to visit, but the party’s support base will remain unshaken,” said Prof Olweny, the ODM county co-ordinating committee chairperson.
He added that no one would interfere with the DP’s itinerary.