Outgoing Tharaka Nithi Senator, Abraham Kithure Kindiki, has for the first time explain the intrigues that saw Deputy President, William Ruto, pick Mathira Member of Parliament, Rigathi Gachagua, as his running mate in the August 9 polls.
In an interview with Citizen TV on Monday, May 17, Kindiki explained that he outsmarted Gachagua in all the competitive areas that were used in the selection process but Ruto sided with the former President Uhuru Kenyatta's aide.
Kindiki added that of all the contestants who were seeking the position, opinion polls favoured him. He further noted that the Mount Kenya vote favoured him in the selection process.
However, after a 17-hour stalemate, Ruto settled on Gachagua.
"The process of identifying a running mate is a very new phenomenon in our country. So, as a party we used an array of methods. The first one was trying to figure out from opinion polls. We came to find out later that the party used secret opinion polls across the country to find out from our membership," Kindiki stated.
"In the polls that were carried out by the party, it is true that I emerged the winner. The opinion polls were carried out in 10 areas in the Mt Kenya region and all over the country. I also emerged top of the electoral college vote but there were other considerations. The selection of a running mate is also a personal issue and he had so many issues which he considered and settled on Gachagua."
The running mate position had attracted six hopefuls. These included Kandara MP Alice Wahome, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, National Assembly Speaker, Justin Muturi, Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru, Kindiki, and ultimately the Mathira lawmaker.
But the race went down to two; Kindiki and Gachagua.
With Ruto’s intervention, the light dimmed on Kindiki’s running mate prospects as it shone in Gachagua’s favour. The Mathira MP claimed to be charismatic, a mobiliser, and a great campaigner. This made him topple Kindiki in the contest.
Following the decision, Kindiki announced that he will be taking a break from active politics after the August polls. He also made it clear that he will not accept any appointive position if Kenya Kwanza wins the presidential election.
"I have decided to take a break from active politics starting August 10. After soul-searching, I have decided to remain in UDA and the Kenya Kwanza alliance. I have pledged my total commitment to support Kenya Kwanza's running mate Rigathi Gachagua and our party leader DP William Ruto.
"I will continue to play my role in the campaign and subordinate myself to the leadership of the party including my competitor, who is now the deputy president-designate," Kindiki remarked.