President Uhuru Kenyatta will today take his campaign tour to Narok County as his main competitor, Raila Odinga, traverses the North Eastern County of Mandera.
With only 27 days to the high-stakes August 8 polls, the two leading presidential contenders will be reaching out to what they see as critical voting zones in the battle for the magical 50 per cent plus one votes to be declared president.
In his tour, President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, will visit Oloolaimutia, Kisiriri, before closing their day with a rally in Narok Town.
The duo will also visit Ilmotiook in Narok West, as well as Olmegenyu at the edge of the expansive Mau Forest in Narok South.
Mr Odinga has consistently fought for the conservation of the Mau and what he argues is the alienation of the Maasai by unfair land buying practices.
The two issues will likely dominate the UhuRuto tour of Narok.
In 2013, President Kenyatta lost to Mr Odinga in Narok, getting 109,413 votes (46 per cent) against Mr Odinga’s 118,623 (50 per cent), despite his coalition winning the governorship, senate, all MPs and majority of county assembly seats.
But with the defection of Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta, elected on TNA, to Mr Odinga’s ODM and the respected Purko elder Tiampati ole Musuni gunning for the county chief’s seat on ODM, President Kenyatta now has to step up his game following the determined inroads by Mr Odinga.
In Mandera, Mr Odinga and his National Super Alliance (Nasa) team will be taking the message of how unequal the Jubilee government has been, and why they will be the solution if elected in August.
The county is almost an exclusive Jubilee affair.
In 2013, Jubilee took every top seat in Mandera County right from that of Governor Ali Roba, Senator Billow Kerrow and the six members of the National Assembly, including woman representative, with the Head of State getting 92 per cent of the vote against Mr Odinga’s paltry 4.3 per cent.
But following Mr Roba’s refusal to accept a Garre Council of Elders’ decision to have him and all the other elected leaders not seek re-election, Mr Kerrow and governor aspirant Hassan Noor formed the Economic Freedom Party (EFP).
Although they argued that they will back President Kenyatta’s re-election bid, internal divisions between them and the Jubilee leadership in the county led by Governor Roba has led to disagreements that Mr Odinga hopes will result in votes for his camp when the 175,642 voters in the county go to the ballot.