Raila is one of the most well respected and POPULAR figures in the country with support across the country from Rift Valley, Western Nairobi, Northern Frontier districts and even the Coast. With all due respect, no one in the current Kenya has ever enjoyed such HUGE support across the country almost making his Party the ODM the only TRULY national Party in Kenya.
That has been true until William Ruto came along. As he has proved this 2020-2021 period, he is indeed popular across some sections and pockets of the country. But his popularity falls short that of Raila in so many ways. First we have not seen what William Ruto alone as an individual can do in terms of spearheading his own campaign, and how many MPs he can get across the country without Uhuru, Raila, Mutua or any big figure in the country.
Secondly and most importantly, Ruto’s popularity soured between 2015 and 2019 when he engaged in Harambees, Church donations and Funeral donations across the country using the PRETEXT of launching national projects. The amount William Ruto donated to Churches, Funerals and Harambees FAR SURPASSES what President Moi donated in his 24 year reign. William Ruto held meetings almost DAILY from Monday to Monday and sometimes using a chopper holding about 3 to 4 harambees in a day. As a result people felt close to him and felt he was generous!
He BASICALLY BOUGHT their loyalty.
Truthfully SPEAKING, there is NOTHING ELSE RUTO did to have people love or support him. He didnt give them an ideology to follow. (Forget the wheelbarrow narrative. That came a few months ago). He donated MONEY mostly looted from GOVERMENT since he could not even explain the source. You cant donate ksh20million a week when you earn Ksh1million a month. You have to be a thief. That is what he did to gain support across a few areas in the country.
ON THE CONTRARY…. Raila Odinga has never attended more than 2 Harambees a week. Essentially no one remembers the day Raila Odinga was in a Harambee. Raila Odinga DIDNT BUY LOYALTY. Raila has built his base for years since 1990. Raila is LOVED because he is seen to have been FIGHTING for the poor and the downtrodden, reforms and better governance all through the governments. That is how he built his support base.
Ruto bought his support base, Raila Built his with IDEOLOGIES.
TRUTHFULLY SPEAKING If Ruto didnt have access to government money to be able to donate across the country and make people feel obligated to support him back, it could have taken a long time to establish a base beyond Rift Valley.
This is the case with Mudavadi, Wetangula, Kalonzo and others. If they had looted money like William Ruto and went across the country donating the money, they could be darlings!