Inside 11-Hour Stand-off on Ruto's Running Mate

  • DP William Ruto at the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya National Convention, at Nairobi Baptist Church, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
    DP William Ruto at the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya National Convention, at Nairobi Baptist Church, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
    DPPS
  • The much anticipated announcement of Kenya Kwanza's running mate on Saturday, May 14, led to an 11-hour stalemate at Deputy President William Ruto's residence on Saturday, May 14. 

    The standoff culminated with the Director of Communications for Ruto's Presidential Campaign, Hussein Mohamed, holding a press briefing during the wee hours of Sunday morning, May 15, to seemingly signal a white smoke after day-long talks. 

    "Kenya Kwanza alliance had a series of meetings today, where several matters were discussed; development of county chatters, programs on Bottom up economic policies as well as the extensive discussions on the running mate issue. The decision will be communicated to you today," he assured. 

    Garissa Town MP Aden Duale blocks PAA gubernatorial candidate for Kilifi County George Kithi from Deputy President William Ruto' s press coference held in Karen on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
    Garissa Town MP Aden Duale blocks PAA gubernatorial candidate for Kilifi County George Kithi from Deputy President William Ruto's press conference held in Karen on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Media reports had indicated that in the early hours of Saturday morning, the Kenya Kwanza team had settled on a running mate but the decision was challenged by the Mathira MP. 

    What seemed like an easy task for the Kenya Kwanza coalition, turned into a circus after the selection team narrowed down to two; Gachagua and Kindiki. 

    Sources privy to the highly-guarded talks intimated to the media that the factors that the team was looking for were political experience, voting dynamics, loyalty to the Kenya Kwanza coalition as well chemistry with Ruto. 

    The back and forth discussions appeared to cause disquiet among supporters of Kindiki and Gachagua, as they rooted for their candidates.

    Reports revealed that the two front runners, a legal scholar and a career civil servant left Deputy President William Ruto's Karen residence in a huff. 

    Insiders had intimated to Kenyans.co.ke that DP's Kenya Kwanza had already settled on a running mate but last-minute demands by the Mathira MP escalated stalemate. 

    Gachagua is reported to have made it clear last week that he would not settle for anything less despite a promise by the DP Ruto-led team to give him the Interior Ministry should they win the August 9 polls. 

    On the other hand, a section of Kenya Kwanza's team prefers Prof Kindiki for his calm demeanor, and collected personality coupled with an impressive legal career, that would gel with Ruto.

    It's a delicate balancing act for the DP, who is keen on wooing Central Kenya, the backyard of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has thrown his weight behind the Azimio flag-bearer Raila Odinga.

    The clock is also fast-ticking towards May 16, when all presidential aspirants are required by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to have named their running mates.

    Deputy President William Ruto and MP Rigathi Gachagua campaigned in Nakuru county on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
    Deputy President William Ruto and MP Rigathi Gachagua campaigned in Nakuru county on Saturday, March 19, 2022.
    DPPS