- Kithure Kindiki
Tharaka Nithi Senator Prof Kithure Kindiki was missing in action as Deputy President William Ruto unveiled Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate at his Karen office on Sunday, May 15.
Kindiki, who was poised as one of the top contenders to become Ruto's running mate, skipped the press conference despite coming in second to Gachagua.
However, the DP recognised him and his efforts, adding that he brought more than his legal counsel to the contest. Ruto added that Rigathi narrowly edged the senator in the race, having checked most boxes in the requirement list.From left: Senators Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nthi), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet) on August 4, 2020.File
"I want to very sincerely thank my lawyer, my friend Prof Abraham Kithure Kindiki who became the runners up in this contest. He is a forthright Kenyan, a Kenyan of great standard, a lawyer per excellence and the man who defeated that fellow called Ocampo.
"He is not here with us but brought a lot of experience, passion and commitment to this race; and finally, in the end, the consensus pointed out to an individual who scored excellent points on every evaluative parameter," Ruto added.
Kindiki's victory did not sit well with the Mathira legislator, and a fracas was witnessed. Consequently, the counsel stormed out of the meeting, driving out of the compound, with Rigathi following and moving in the opposite direction.
The UDA presidential candidate was forced to make the final decision on who between the two would be best suited to become his running mate - he selected Gachagua, a friend and close ally.
"... an astute debater with prodigious persuasive ability, a fantastic grassroots mobilizer and tireless political operative, a championed of the betrayed, persecuted, downtrodden, and ignored," Ruto showered Gachagua with praise.
The announcement has since sparked protests in Kindiki's Tharaka Nithi backyard with area residents threatening to vote for Azimio la Umoja One Kenya flagbearer Raila Odinga if the senator is not picked.
According to the Kenya Kwanza coalition agreement, the president and the running mate would come from UDA. Several candidates were being considered including Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, and lawmakers Alice Wahome (Kandara) and Kiharu MPNdindi Nyoro were also eyeing the position.
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