Deputy President William Ruto search for a running mate from Mt Kenya to bolster his presidential bid in 2022 is becoming a nightmare by day as the bunch of his most preferred candidates turn unreliable.
This is as a result of some developing cold feet, others getting entangled in court cases culminating from corruption charges while others flirt openly with the opposing camp within Jubilees Party.
According to the Saturday Nation, Ruto and his handlers had earlier identified Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri, governors Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru) and Tharaka Nithi senator Kindiki Kithure as possible running mates.
Others were former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.
However, many of these candidates, Saturday Nation reports, have lost Ruto’s favour after they seemed unreliable for the reasons we enumerate against each below.
1. Ann Waiguru
It is said her failure to join the Tanga Tanga brigade due to her closeness with President Uhuru Kenyatta is said to have forced DP Ruto’s team to consider other options despite being the most preferred Ruto’s preference earlier.
2. Ferdinand Waititu
He used to frequent DP Ruto’s events but he is slowly losing the huge support he enjoyed from the DP’s supporters due to his fights with the anti-graft agency.
3. Mwangi Kiunjuri
Ruto’s presidential campaign team is said to have feared the CS who is said to have cast his eyes on contesting the presidency in 2022 and thus a possible rival of the DP.
4. Prof Kithure Kindiki
Though he still has a chance of being Dr Ruto’s running mate, Saturday Nation writes, the DP team fear that the senator would bring little on the table in terms of votes due to low number of registered voters in Tharaka Nithi County and his pockets may not be deep enough too.
5. Kiraitu Murungi
It is not clear in the DP’s camp whether Murungi, who enjoys huge support in Mt Kenya East, would abandon his bid for a second term as Meru governor and be Ruto’s running mate.
Ruto is said to be keen on having a running mate from Mt Kenya, as the area together with Rift Valley are believed to be Jubilee’s bedrock, and hope to get a swing vote from other parts of the country where the party enjoys little backing.
As such the net has been cast wider and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo and Ruto’s political rival in Mt Kenya politics is said to be strongly being considered for the running mate slot. But Kabogo upon being reached by the Nation over the same, sounded vague.
“I have been approached through proxies to join Tanga Tanga, but I can’t because I don’t subscribe to either Tanga Tanga or Kieleweke politics because these are people who want to continue milking money from both the DP and the President by pretending to popularise their agenda. Who said I cannot be President myself? It is too early to start politicking,” Kabogo is quoted as saying.