Addressing a roadside congregation on Friday, April 1, in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, the ODM Party leader was met with pro-deputy President William Ruto chants.
As he tried to popularize his agenda, a separate group chanted Ruto slogans and their voices eclipsed the message of the ODM leader.
The crowd turned against the former Prime Minister when he asked them to answer his Azimio call.
His attempts to win them with what Azimio la Umoja government will do for the region failed but when he chanted ‘Inawezekani’ (it’s possible), the locals responded: ‘Ruto’.
Raila was in the company of Elegeyo Marakwet governor Alex Tolgos and Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino. They first held a delegate meeting in Iten KMTC and later addressed the people in Iten town.
ODM point man and one of the organisers of the rally in the region, Kipkorir Menjo, condemned the incident and asked Rift Valley residents to be tolerant and factions to politicians from other factions.
“This happened due to the influence of our opponents who do not want us to sell our agenda in the region. Voting is not taking place today, why send people to heckle us?” he asked.
As the campaign season heats up, supporters of different politicians turn rowdy and police believe others are paid to disrupt political rallies.
On Sunday, January 16, Deputy President William Ruto’s Rally at the Jacaranda Grounds in Embakasi East was marred with chaos and police had to fire teargas to disperse the rowdy youth.
Videos shared on social media showed a section of the crowd engaged in running battles forcing police officers to lob teargas to disperse a rowdy crowd.
This was after a group of rowdy youth attempted to disrupt the rally, chanting that they wanted to be addressed by the area member of Parliament, Babu Owino. Officers from the Anti-Riot Police unit were deployed to restore calm at the grounds and the rally continued.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has condemned the violence at political rallies and urged Kenyans to exercise restraint when politicians mount campaigns in areas they are not popular.