Deputy President William Ruto has moved in with speed targetting Raila Odinga’s loyal foot-soldiers from his Nyanza turf in a ruthless raid seeking to strengthen the Hustler movement.
In what signals a change in political realignments, key politicians and professionals from ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza turf held a strategy meeting on Thursday with DP Ruto’s team amid reports of possibly shifting to the hustler movement.
The meeting convened by Ruto’s think tank member and management consultant Eliud Owalo saw tens of professionals came out boldly to craft what they call an economic blueprint for the Nyanza region.
Former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and former Cabinet Minister Dalmas Otieno were among the high-flying politicians who attended a meeting convened by Ruto’s think tank member and management consultant Eliud Owalo.
The document will form part of Ruto’s main 2022 manifesto targetting to woo the region that has traditionally been an opposition stronghold.
The group is emerging to challenge Raila’s dorminance barely a few months after a team of youthful politicians warmed up to DP Ruto, signaling what many of Raila’s critics believe is the fall of the Odinga dynasty with no apparent heir to inherit the throne when the former Prime Minister exits the political scene.
The Thursday morning, the meeting took place at the Hermosa Hotel in Nairobi
Dalmas, a former Odinga confidant, is a commissioner with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission but reports indicate that he is keen on making a come-back in politics.
Others present included former Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo, Citizens Convention Party leader Grace Akumu, former East Africa Portland Cement and Muhoroni Sugar Co Ltd managing director John Nyambok, former Vision 2030 director Judah Abekah, former Kenya Commercial Bank head of SMEs Christopher Migunde and educationist Prof David Otieno Okelo.
Also in attendance were Elgah Riaga, development expert Geoffrey Muga, chairman of the Western Tourism Circuit Daniel Okumu, lawyers Duncan Ojwang and Amos Omollo, engineer Calleb Olali and cooperative sector expert Steve Otieno.
Ruto recently divulged that he is casting his nets wider, targeting Raila Odinga’s deputy among others.
He would also revela that he has secured deals with many leaders from across the political divide who are only waiting for the opportune time to cross over to his side.
The DP said he had secured a political deal with many leaders, including governors and Cabinet Secretaries who are too shy to come out publicly for fear of political persecution
In the wake of the revelations, Ruto revealed that many leaders are meeting him in private, including Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries, among other government officials to avoid being harrased by state agencies, including arrests with fictitious charges.
“Because of the nature of the politics — that if you are seen with William Ruto, the DCI will be on your case — many of them prefer that we have these meetings in private,” he said.