Inside Kenya Kwanza Deal Giving Ruto Sweeping Powers

  • Kenya Kwanza co-principals, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi (centre) and Deputy President William Ruto at a rally in Wajir County on Thursday, March 31, 2022
    Kenya Kwanza co-principals, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi (centre) and Deputy President William Ruto at a rally in Wajir County on Thursday, March 31, 2022
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    William Ruto
  • Deputy President William Ruto is the runaway winner in the recently concluded power talks among Kenya Kwanza principals who include ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang'ula.

    In the agreement dated May 8 and seen by Kenyans.co.ke, Ruto, who heads the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), was picked as the Presidential flag-bearer and will be deputised by a member from the his party as well. This effectively strikes out Mudavadi from the running mate matrix.

    The Coalition Agreement, which was prepared by the Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, also indicated that if the alliance clinched power, they would champion the creation of a Prime Minister's post which will be held by Mudavadi.

    The former Finance Minister and and ex-Vice President was given a condition to ensure that he, together with the Bungoma Senator, deliver 70 per cent vote in the five counties of Western Kenya, comprising Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia.

    Deputy President William Ruto and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua pose for a photo after striking a deal to join Kenya Kwanza on May 9, 2022.
    Deputy President William Ruto and Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua pose for a photo after striking a deal to join Kenya Kwanza on May 9, 2022.
    William Ruto

    With ODM leader Raila Odinga enjoying favourable support and having beaten the Jubilee Party in 2013 and 2017 elections in the region, Mudavadi and Wetangula's job is well cut out.

    But should the duo deliver, they will be guaranteed six slots in Ruto's Cabinet which will consist of 21 Cabinet Secretaries. The two have also been promised priority development projects in their home turfs.

    Wetangula, a seasoned politician, will be appointed as the National Assembly Speaker should he deliver the Mulembe vote.

    However, the Senator has downplayed the power-sharing deal stating, "We know exactly what we negotiated for. Positions and conditions are not our portion. Let's focus first on what our people will get."

    Part of the deed of agreement reads, "UDA shall nominate the coalition's Presidential and Deputy Presidential candidates in the General Elections on August 9, 2022.

    "ANC and Ford-Kenya shall actively support and campaign for the coalition's Presidential and deputy presidential candidates nominated by UDA pursuant to the provisional of this agreement."

    In other agreements, Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) party, which is led by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, has secured the position of Senate Speaker.

    He was also promised the appointment of his allies at the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kilifi will benefit from priority projects provide he hands 50 per cent of the votes in Kilifi to UDA.

    Maendeleo Chap Chap leader Alfred Mutua, who joined the coalition over the weekend, demanded one Cabinet Secretary slot related to infrastructure but he should provide 35 per cent vote of Ukambani's three counties.

    He was handed an option of accepting a nomination in the National Assembly or the Senate where he will be the Majority or the Minority leaders.

    Experts have cast doubt on Ruto's change of heart in the promise to create the Prime Minister's position given that he vehemently opposed the passing of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which among other things, proposed the expansion of the Executive.

    Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi (centre) is officially welcomed by DP William Ruto to Kenya Kwanza at his Karen office on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
    Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi (centre) is officially welcomed by DP William Ruto to Kenya Kwanza at his Karen office on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
    William Ruto