African Press International (API)

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Presidential hopeful, William Arap Ruto roughly linched in the Kalenjin Rift Valley

Posted by African Press International on September 3, 2007

The man – Ruto who wants to become Kenya’s net president did not manage to get votes during the ODM exercise that took place Saturday in Kasarani grounds.

Ruto who has been seen by many as Raila Odinga’s stooge continues to dream of power. He thinks if he fails to get the presidency himself, that he can take the 3.3 million Rift Valley Kalenjin votes toNyanza to be added to Raila’s in order to enable him to become Kenya’s next president. Ruto’s hopes is that Raila will then appoint him to something.

Ruto has tried to mislead the Kalenjins and now he has got a rude awakening. Rift Valley will reject him now and move forward in support of President Kibaki who is expected to win a second term in office.

The Kibaki government should take Ruto for trial for the evil deeds that he did while minister in Moi’s government. By misjudging the direction the wind is blowing, Ruto supported and still supports Raila and ODM against the will of the Rift Valley people, because he wants protection from trial should ODM get the power.

By API*APN-Norway

Publication Date: 9/3/2007

Langata MP Raila Odinga won in seven out of the eight provinces including those perceived to be his rivals strongholds to bag the ODM presidential ticket.

Langata MP Raila Odinga acknowledges applause from the crowd after being declared the ODM presidential candidate at the Kasarani sports complex in Nairobi on Saturday night. Photo/STEPHEN MUDIARI

It was only in former Vice-President Musalia Mudavadis Western Province that Mr Odinga lost in the presidential nomination conducted by the partys election board headed by Mr Justice (rtd) Richard Otieno Kwach.

In Western, Mr Mudavadi garnered 303 votes against Mr Odingas 128. Eldoret North MP William Ruto got four while Gachoka MP Joseph Nyaga had only one vote. Mvita MP Najib Balala, who stepped down in favour of Mr Odinga before the elections, managed two votes.

Most of Mr Odingas support in Western came from Busia, Mumias, Mt Elgon and Teso districts while Mr Mudavadi maintained a firm grip in all the other areas.

Where Kalonzo hails from

In Eastern Province, where ODM-K presidential candidate Kalonzo Musyoka hails from, Mr Odinga received 232 votes against Mr Rutos 163. Mr Mudavadi was third with 37 while Mr Nyaga garnered only nine although his Gachoka constituency is in Eastern Province.

In Central, Mr Odinga yet again led with 283 delegates voting for him. Mr Nyaga, who was expected to give Mr Odinga a run for his money in the province, emerged a distant second with 15 votes.

Mr Mudavadi and Ruto got 13 and 12 votes respectively. Mr Odinga, whose pointwoman in the province is Ms Mumbi Ngaru, recently criss-crossed Central Province and was at one time ejected from a hotel owned by President Kibakis in-law.

Mr Mudavadi, Mr Ruto and Mr Nyaga, also performed poorly in Nairobi where they received 15, two and one vote respectively against Mr Odingas 167.

Ruto got a rude shock

And in his Rift Valley backyard, Mr Ruto got a rude shock when he polled only 150 votes against Mr Odingas 304. Mr Mudavadi on the other hand managed 13 votes while Mr Nyaga received only one.

The Rift Valley outcome was a result of the strong support Mr Odinga enjoys in the populous province and the efforts of his allies, including MPs Henry Kosgey and Kipkalya Kones. Mr Odinga has also been working with former Head of Civil Service Sally Kosgei, former powerful permanent secretary Zakayo Cheruiyot, former head of presidential escort Samson Cherambos and registered ODM chairman Said Keitany to market his presidential ambitions in the province with 3.3 million voters.

Nyanza, considered by many to be Mr Odingas stronghold, did not disappoint. Of the 701 votes cast, 627 went to the Langata MP. Mr Ruto got two while and Mr Nyaga and Mr Mudavadi had one each.

In Coast Province where Mr Balala hails from, Mr Odinga received 334 votes, Mr Ruto 14 while Mr Mudavadi received eight votes. Mr Nyaga had only one. Mr Balalas earlier move to step down in favour of Mr Odinga also worked well for the Langata MP.

Delegates from North Eastern Province gave Mr Odinga 186 votes against Mr Rutos three. Mr Mudavadi and Mr Nyaga did not get any votes there.

And when all the votes had been counted, Mr Odinga had garnered 2,656 votes. Mr Mudavadi came a distant second with 391 votes. He was followed by Mr Ruto who got 368 votes. Mr Nyaga received 30 votes with Mr Balala getting four.

Rift Valley with 49 constituencies had the highest number of delegates followed by Eastern (36), Nyanza (32), Central (29), Western (24), Coast (21), North Eastern (11) and Nairobi (8).

In Rift Valley Mr Odingas support came from the Maasai region which has 20 constituencies and Central Rift. Support for Mr Ruto came mainly from the North Rift.

Having bagged the ODM ticket, Mr Odinga will face ODM-Ks Mr Musyoka and President Kibaki in the polls slated for December.

During the ODM-K nomination on Friday, Mr Musyoka beat his only rival nominated MP Julia Ojiambo when he received 2,835 votes against Prof Ojiambos 791. Twenty votes were declared invalid.

The hopefuls who were trounced by Mr Odinga in the ODM nomination have agreed to support the Langata MP to ensure that the party removes the Kibaki administration from power in the next election.

Mr Balala set the tempo when he said he was glad to have backed the right horse.

Everyone thought that he was a kingmaker. Today he is King, said Mr Balala amid cheers from the delegates.

We want to ensure that the country gets a taste of the ODM dream. We shall deliver this dream as a team, having Mr Odinga as our captain. We shall indeed stand by him, said the Mvita MP.

Mr Nyaga also conceded defeat and paid tribute to Mr Odinga saying he was the best-placed candidate to be Kenyas president come January next year.

He also said he would be glad to serve in a government led by Mr Odinga.

Mr Ruto urged Mr Odinga to forget the past and lead ODM to the promised land. The Eldoret North MP criticised the government, saying it had continued to impoverish Kenyans although it pledged to reduce poverty when it took over power five years ago.

Kenya is the third most unequal country in the world. This government should be removed. Under the leadership of our captain, Mr Odinga, this quest is possible.

Mr Mudavadi also conceded defeat saying he respected the decision made by the delegates.

Before the voting kicked off, I pledged to support whoever was chosen on condition that they support me if I get the partys nod. Its now time to honour that pledge, said a disappointed Mudavadi.

But what was on the lips of many was how Mr Odinga came to win the hearts of delegates from areas where he does not traditionally enjoy support.

Central Province, for instance, is thought to be uncomfortable with the prospects of Mr Odinga going to State House.

But there have also been unconfirmed reports that the delegates from Central were chosen carefully so that only those perceived to be friendly got the ticket to Kasarani.

Similarly, it would have only been logical that delegates from Eastern, mainly Ukambani where Mr Musyoka comes from, could have been hostile to Mr Odingas candidature. However, this was not the case.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525


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