Ruto ally and Sports CS Rashid Echesa has promised a bruising battle for the Nyanza vote against NASA leader Raila Odinga in 2022.
Echesa who served as ODM Youth League leader before switching sides to join Ruto, disclosed that his ditching of ‘Baba’s’ party was informed by, among other things, failure to achieve his dreams.
“I served as the ODM Youth League leader for 10 years, but left with nothing. I decided to join the other side (sic), where I became a Cabinet Secretary within three months,” said Echesa.
The CS was speaking on Tuesday when he visited Seme in Kisumu County during his tour of tourism sites across the country.
“This is my home, and when I come back with Ruto in 2022, we will be seeking just 20 per cent of the votes, since we know the majority of these votes belong to Baba,” said Echesa amid applause.
The CS previously caused a stir between the Jubilee luminaries and ODM brigade due to his virulent attacks on Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
On August 6, Echesa almost got into a fist fight with Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi at Kisumu International Airport after the legislator confronted him for accusing Raila, during a rally in Kakamega County, of working to get him kicked out of Cabinet.
The CS has however toned down recently, and has been seen in the company of Raila in two separate public events.
On Tuesday, Echesa appeared to be spoiling for a fierce battle, in which he promised to sell Ruto in the greater western Kenya region ahead of the 2022 polls.
“I will be coming with Ruto, and our politics is going to be different. It will be politics which target to empower the people economically. It will be politics to drive out poverty and have money in the pockets of our people,” he said.
He noted that his stint at ODM did not yield much fruits as most of his ambitions were not fulfilled.
During his tour of the area, Echesa promised to lead a series of fundraisers for the youth and women to boost their economic wellbeing.
He also promised to finance a trip for the area football team, which is set to participate in a soccer tournament in Uganda next month, as well as fund a cultural event set to be held at Kit Mikayi shrine in December.
“My office is open for all, and I ask you people to form groups, and CBOs and come up with good proposals for projects. We cannot lack something to boost your activities,” he said.
Earlier, the CS had met a group of youth from Kisumu at Kisumu Museum, and urged them to shun violence and allow all politicians to visit the area and seek votes.
“At the moment, it is time for work, and I am in this area to visit tourism sites and find out ways of improving them. But let us be flexible when the campaign time comes so that we can hear from all candidates,” he said.
Since the 2017 General Election, Ruto is yet to visit Luo Nyanza counties, with his visits to the region confined to the Gusii counties of Kisii and Nyamira.
Echesa however said the DP will visit Luo Nyanza shortly.