Kenya polls: Uhuru Kenyatta steps out to seal Raila win over ‘angry’ Ruto

With the election campaigns in Kenya having entered the homestretch, President Uhuru Kenyatta has once again stepped out to the front line to try to swing the August 9 vote in favour of his preferred successor, Raila Odinga.

President Kenyatta has in the past week taken advantage of official development project inspection tours in Nairobi, Laikipia and Samburu to drum up support for Mr Odinga, saying the 77-year-old opposition leader had the qualities needed to take the country forward.

Many more such tours have been lined up in the coming weeks, as the President serves out his final constitutional term in office.

He has been keen to play up the reformist credentials of Mr Odinga’s running mate Martha Karua, saying she will ruthlessly deal with corruption in government.

Ms Karua, a surprise nominee to the Kenyatta-backed Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition ticket, is also being seen as a possible successor to the President in Mt Kenya region to try to neutralise the popularity of Deputy President William Ruto there.

Dr Ruto, who is Mr Odinga’s main rival in the race to succeed President Kenyatta, enjoys a large following in Mt Kenya, the single-largest voting bloc, due to the absence of a credible candidate from the region and long-standing ethnically instigated anti-Odinga sentiment there.

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