As the country gears towards the 2022 general election, touted contenders are going all out to outwit their competitors.
While President Uhuru Kenyatta is keen on uniting the Opposition and having them front a single candidate, Deputy President William Ruto is keen on grassroots mobilization and wooing each region by unveiling a special Blueprint of what his administration will have for them.
The DP on Monday told Ukambani leaders at his Karen residence that in the next three months the ground will shift and those in government would no longer be able to intimidate him and his allies.
Over the weekend he met representatives from Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, and Nyamira counties in Naivasha to listen to their views on economic recovery and also unveil his plans for the region.
The DP is expected to host leaders from Western, Coast, North Eastern, and Rift Valley in September ahead of a national conference in December where insiders say he will roll out his political and economic blueprint.
It is understood that these regional teams will later form a formidable unit that will solidify the bottom-up, middle-out economic model that will anchor Ruto’s manifesto.
He has already received development proposals from Mt Kenya, Coast and Nyanza regions. Ruto has engaged a think-tank led by former Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndung’u, Prof David Ndii, former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir, and former Raila ally Prof Larry Gumbe to work on his economic blueprint.
Others in the team include Prof Edward Kisiangani, Augustine Choge, Prof Raphael Munavu, Eliud Owalo Mugambi Murithi, Dr. Crispin Bokea, and Dr. Samson Machuka among others. UDA chairman Johnstone Muthama said they have already registered about four million members and they are activating regional parties that will eventually form an alliance.
However, it has emerged that the ideas for the Nyanza region captured in Ruto’s recovery plan are from the economic blueprint for Lake Region Economic Bloc, its CEO has said.
The LREB boss Abala Wanga on Thursday claimed that Ruto point man Eliud Owalo plagiarised their document.
He said Owalo copy-pasted the ideas which he came across when he was hired by the bloc in 2019 as a consultant.
Speaking at his office at Kisumu Town Hall, Abala said he will soon write a letter to ask Owalo to stop using the contents of the plan and parading it in public meetings as his.
“I was stunned to read through what my friend Eliud Owalo put forth as Ruto’s economic ideas for Western and Nyanza regions,” he said.
Abala said Owalo was contracted by LREB as a consultant to do the strategic plan and was given the organization’s blueprint to generate ideas from.
“We gave him our economic blueprint from where he got all the ideas and a lot of information to build the plan,” he said.
He claimed that what Owalo was sharing in public forums was obtained from the plan.
“What he is parading now in public spaces, telling all and sundry that are Ruto’s ideas for Western and Nyanza, are all cut and pasted from our documents,” he said.
“He has just lifted everything from the document and we are going to write a letter to restrain him from using our information. This is plagiarism of the highest order,” Wanga said.
But in a rejoinder, Owalo dismissed the claims that he stole information that belonged to LREB.
“That’s nonsense. I was the consultant for the LREB strategic planning process. I’m the one who developed the LREB strategic plan. How can I copy-paste my own ideas?” Owalo said