Sunday September 22, 2019
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DP Ruto Says He’s Ready to Face Raila in 2022

Ruto was speaking in reference to media reports suggesting that the opposition leader would contest for presidency in the coming General Election

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Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

By Geoffrey Isaya

Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto says he is ready to go head-to-head with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in the 2022 race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Speaking on Sunday in Meru County, DP Ruto, however, challenged Odinga to come out clean that he would accept defeat in the next election.

Ruto was speaking in reference to media reports suggesting that the opposition leader would contest for presidency in the coming General Election. Odinga has rubbished the newspaper reports but has neither denied nor confirmed that he will be on the ballot come 2022.

“I have heard that he has announced that he wants to compete with me in 2022. I do not have a problem competing with him, but he must first tell and assure Kenyans that in case of a defeat, he will accept the decision of the Kenyan voters,” said the Deputy President.

“Let him first tell the country that in case of defeat, he will not cause chaos.”

Ruto, however, said he is currently ‘busy’ focusing on fulfillment of the Jubilee government’s development agenda.

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Deputy president William Ruto sits next to Meru senator Minthika Linturi during a church service at the Full gospel Church in Buuri,Meru county.

“But for the time being, I want to tell him that I am busy ensuring that the Jubilee manifesto and the Big Four agenda are realised,” said the DP.

Earlier on Sunday, Mr. Odinga said he was “deeply disappointed” by the media reports placing him in the 2022 presidential race.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson Dennis Onyango, Odinga said his calls for his party ODM to prepare for grassroots elections were “deliberately twisted” to mean he is in the presidential race.

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Deputy president William Ruto addresses residents of Meru County on Sunday.

“Raila Odinga strongly objects to reports appearing in the Sunday Nation today that put him in a presidential race he has not declared any interest in and which does not exist currently,” read part of the statement.

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“Mr Odinga entered no race yesterday and he knows no race that is on as reported in Sunday Nation.  It’s way too early.”

The former premier who is also the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure said focusing on the 2022 elections would undermine efforts towards addressing issues facing the country such as “violent elections every five years, runaway corruption, troubles in the counties, reforms to education and endangered national values.”

Next Story

Kenya Third African Country to Roll Out World’s First Malaria Vaccine

Young children in eight western Kenyan counties will receive the RTS, S malaria vaccine, developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline

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Kenya, African, Country
A health worker vaccinates a child against malaria, in Ndhiwa, Homabay County, western Kenya, Sept. 13, 2019, during the launch of a malaria vaccination campaign in the country. VOA

Kenya has become the third African country to roll out the world’s first malaria vaccine. Young children in eight western Kenyan counties will receive the RTS, S malaria vaccine, developed by British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

Africa continues to bear the greatest brunt of malaria globally and the introduction of the vaccine in parts of Africa is seen as a possible game changer in the fight against the killer disease.

Mothers and children lined up at a health center in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay County, on Friday to receive their first injection of the RTS,S malaria vaccine.

The vaccine will be administered in four doses to children between six months and two years old.

Kenya, African, Country
A clinic handbook is given to new mothers free of charge upon delivery at health facilities all over the country. The book contains vaccination schedules and information materials. (R. Ombuor/VOA) VOA

The program is being facilitated by Kenya’s Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the global nonprofit PATH and other partners.

Scott Gordon, director for the malaria vaccine implementation program at PATH, was present at the launch and spoke to VOA by phone.

“Given the malaria burden here in Kenya where it’s one of the leading causes of childhood killers as well as the burden in the other countries, today’s launch is a tremendous step.  It means we have a tool that can be used in selected areas in Kenya to combat malaria and ensure that children are able to benefit from the broader portfolio of tools for malaria,” Gordon said.

Malawi, Ghana and Kenya are participating in the malaria vaccine implementation program coordinated by the WHO.

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At least 360,000 children are expected to receive the vaccine each year in the three countries.

The Homa Bay County minister for health, Richard Otieno Muga, says the vaccine will be one more tool for fighting malaria.

“Introduction of vaccines is one of the interventions but already we have insecticide treated nets, we also have indoor residual spraying in which we carry out to be able to fight Malaria which is a major killer for most of our children,” Muga said.

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Kenya has become the third African country to roll out the world’s first malaria vaccine. Pixabay

The WHO says Africa accounts for 90 percent of malaria cases and deaths globally.

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The program will run through 2022, with scientists studying the rollout to gauge the effectiveness of the vaccine. (VOA)