Why Nairobi, Rift Valley, Mt Kenya could ‘produce’ Kenya’s next president
The four presidential candidates in the August 9 General Elections will be forced to redouble their efforts in their vote-hunting mission in Mt Kenya, Rift Valley and Nairobi to emerge victorious in the polls.
This is because the three regions are considered to have the highest number of votes in the country. Data released on Thursday by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) shows that the three regions have a total of 12.3 million votes.
The Rift Valley region has 5 million voters, Mt Kenya 4.9 million and Nairobi 2.4 million voters. The Rift Valley and Mt Kenya regions are considered to be Deputy President William Ruto’s stronghold while Azimio la Umoja candidate Raila Odinga has been in charge of Nairobi County since 2013.
The latest opinion poll conducted by a research firm Tifa showed that Mr Odinga was leading in popularity in Nairobi County followed by UDA presidential candidate Dr Ruto. The survey showed that if elections were held, Mr Odinga would secured 50 per cent of votes in Nairobi, followed by Dr Ruto with 25 per cent while Prof George Wajakoyah (Roots Party) would garner 7 per cent of the votes.
But political analysts have expressed fear that many voters in the Mt Kenya region may not vote because of the narrative of ‘not having one of their own in the ballot’. And although the Rift Valley region is believed to be Dr Ruto’s stronghold, opinion is divided on which counties still support Mr Odinga.
Counties such as Pokot, Turkana, Nakuru and Narok are divided with some supporting Dr Ruto while others favouring Mr Odinga. Dr Ruto will therefor be required to step up the pace in the region in order to scoop the majority votes.
In Nyanza, Mr Odinga is confident garnering atleast 3.1 million votes. Similarly, Mr Odinga is expected to bag the majority of the 1.9 millions up for grabs in the Coastal region.
The Northern part of Kenya has 800,000 votes, Ukambani region 1.6 million while the Western region has 2.2 million votes.