By Faridah N Kulumba
Africa-Press – Kenya. The Azimio la Umoja Presidential candidate Raila Odinga on 1st August warned his opponent Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza brigade that a political tsunami would sweep them aside come next week on 9th August polls.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Raila said that he prophesied a long time ago that a tsunami was coming but no one believed him. But in a few days, Kenyans will believe him.
The tsunami consquences
During one of Raila’s campaigns at Huruma grounds in Eldoret, he said the August 2022 elections will be the moment for Kenyans to decide between liberation and continuity of corruption. Raila believes that Kenya is now ripe for a revolution that would transform the country’s economy towards prosperity.
ODM Raila led residents in taking a public oath to vote for him and he will make sure that all Kenyans will be treated equally. He also promised that in 100 days, Kenyans would see great change if elected as the next president of Kenya.
9th August 2022’s elections will always be remembered by Kenyans as the election where rivals became allies as outgoing President Uhuru Kenyatta backed his old nemesis Raila in a closely fought election while turning back on his deputy Ruto who was his running mate in the past elections. ODP Raila 77, has contested for the presidency five-time whereas his main rival Ruto is vying for the presidency for the first time.
Will a political tsunami really sweep Ruto
According to the latest opinion poll by the Nairobi-based TIFA Research, ODM Raila a former prime minister has a narrow lead with 46.7 percent support, and his opponent DP Ruto has 44.4 percent votes.
The President of Kenya is elected using a modified version of the two-round system: to win the first round, a candidate must receive over 50 percent of the vote and at least 35 percent of the vote in a minimum of 24 of the 47 counties. According to the law, the top two finishers will proceed to a runoff if no one receives more than 50 percent of overall votes and at least 25 percent of the vote in more than half of Kenya’s 47 counties. Both candidates for them to win must use all the campaigning techniques to woo as many voters as possible over the next few days.
Raila’s presidential campaigns and promises
ODM Raila comes from one of Kenya’s wealthy political dynasties and during the campaigns, he has positioned himself as “baba” (father) to the nation. He promised Kenyans that if elected as the 5th president he will enact a monthly stipend of 6.000 Kenyan shillings (USD50) for the poorest households as part of a social protection program. He also promised Kenyans affordable health care through what he dubbed “Baba Care.” If he is elected as the next president his running mate Martha Karua will become the first female Deputy President in Kenya’s history.
DP Ruto’s campaign challenges and promises to Kenyans
The second in command Ruto’s campaign has been marred by corruption scandals. His running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, a career public servant, had his accounts frozen in 2020 following a request by the government’s Asset Recovery Agency. A Kenyan court in July ordered Gachagua to repay Ksh202 million (USD1.7 million) to the state. Which the court determined were the proceeds of corruption.
Ruto is contesting the election under the banner of Kenya Kwanza, Swahili for Kenya First, with a promise to grow the economy. He is aiming to transform the country’s economy using his bottom-up model. Ruto says it will benefit the poor who are bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis that hit the world following the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
Ruto’s election warning
Meanwhile, at the end of July 2022, Ruto warned his boss, President Uhuru, not to interfere with the August 9th general election. Presidential candidate DP Ruto led his Kenya Kwanza allies in protesting alleged interference and intimidation of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials ahead of the next week’s elections. Ruto urged President Uhuru to discharge his responsibility by making sure that there are no monkey games along the election process, and to make sure that Kenyans have a free and fair election. According to Ruto, this can only be achieved if security agencies and people with sinister motives are ordered not to intimidate, blackmail IEBC or undermine the elections on Friday 9th August 2022.
State protection promise
DP Ruto had been subjected to untold suffering and humiliation in the hands of President Uhuru in the last five years, but he had chosen to soldier on. Ruto promised to give the incumbent President Uhuru state protection like all other former presidents in the country and would not be harassed in retirement if he’s elected.
U.S security alert warning
On Wednesday this week, the United States (U.S) Embassy in Kenya imposed movement restrictions on its citizens in Kisumu County just days before the elections. The statement which was issued by the Embassy warned U.S citizens to be vigilant and to cut down on their travel to Kisumu. According to the history of Kenya’s election, election-related demonstrations and rallies regularly take place in the run-up to the election and are likely to continue. The embassy stressed that demonstrations may occasionally be violent, requiring police intervention. Kisumu hosts a significant number of U.S Embassy personnel and is a frequent travel destination for American citizens.