Rift Valley is no longer DP William Ruto’s impregnable fortress and Azimio will get more than 40 per cent of the votes, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has said.

He appeared to be referring to the North Rift in particular.

He was joined by former minister Sally Kosgey who led a rousing reception for Azimio deputy presidential candidate Martha Karua in Eldoret on Sunday.

The Raila-Karua star is on the rise, Kosgey and Tolgos said.

They are in charge of Odinga’s campaigns in the region.

“From the kind of reception Karua has been given, it’s clear this region is no longer anyone’s stronghold. Last time Odinga got about 25 per cent but come August 9, he will amass more than 40 per cent,” Tolgos said.

Four Rift governors back Raila — Tolgos, John Longyangapuo of West Pokot, Joseph Ole Lenku of Kajiado and Lee Kinyanjui of Nakuru.

Others who were key in hosting Karua included former assistant minister Stephen Tarus, CAS Linah Kilimo, politician Kipkorir Menjo, MCAs Ramadhan Ali and Francis Muya and Turbo MP aspirant Samkiz Mugo of ODM.

Karua made a grand entry into Eldoret on Sunday where she was cheered widely. She addressed a big rally at Huruma Grounds where Azimio leaders said Raila was gaining popularity.

Tolgos said residents were realising the need to elect a leader with commitment and the will to serve the country.

Analysts said Karua’s successful tour could tilt some votes in Raila’s favour.

“Odinga is the only one with capacity and willingness to address challenges that our farmers have been facing for too long. Those others are the cause of the problems,” Tolgos said.

Tolgos is vying for the Senate seat in Elgeyo Marakwet against incumbent Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and expressed confidence it would be a hard-fought race.

Dr Kosgey said she had previously worked with Raila and Karua and considers them leaders with the capacity to free Kenyans from the burden of corruption that has eroded the economy.

“I know Odinga and Karua very well. They hold so dear the future of this country in their hearts and they are the safe hands the country needs,” Kosgey said.

It was Karua’s first visit to the region after being named Raila’s running mate. Many residents praised her messaging as she campaigned calling for peace and unity.

Karua said political competition was not enmity and every person  running for election are children of the same house known as Kenya.

“I have come here to request you all join us in Azimio la Umoja so we take this country ahead in development,” she said.

“Let’s not vote for leaders based on tribe or other irrelevant issues because at the end of the day we are one and the same,” Karua said.

By the star

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