Deputy President William Ruto might find himself at crossroads in his bid to pick a running mate for the 2022 presidential election after divisions emerged from his supporters in the vote-rich Mt Kenya region.
Yesterday, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri offered themselves to be DP Ruto’s running mate ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Ruto is torn between Mt Kenya East (Embu, Meru, and Mbeere nations) and the West (basically the Kikuyu nation) with each side fighting to have their own as the DP’s running mate in the 2022 presidential election.
Former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata and his Meru counterpart Mithika Linturi, MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) and Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki are all scrambling for the running mate position.
Since Mt Kenya East politicians have never enjoyed a taste of the presidency, they are rallying to speak in one voice to increase their chances of being incorporated in the government that will be formed after the 2022 General Election.
“We have had vice-president and president coming from Mt Kenya West because (retired president) Mwai Kibaki held the two positions and the current president hails from Kiambu.,
“We cannot go back there (Mt Kenya West). This greed must stop. This time round we are saying as Mt Kenya East people, it is our time,” Meru Senator Mithika Linturi told the Daily Nation newspaper.
Kivumbi.co.ke however understands William Ruto’s loyalist from Mt Kenya West have fronted the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP) leader Moses Kuria to deputise William Ruto in the 2022 presidential race due to his growing influence.
However, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said those eyeing to deputise Ruto must work for it adding that the GEMA community will not handpick Ruto’s running mate.
“We know the running mate will come from the Mt Kenya region. The issues of positions will come but for now we are refining our economic blue print,” he said.
Data from the Independent Electoral and Bounderies Commission shows that the GEMA region had approximately 5.3 million registered votes as of 2017 with Mt Kenya West boasting of more than 3 million votes whereas the Mt East could not even hit the 2 million mark.
It is estimated the region’s numbers could shoot to between 7 to 8 million in 2022 with the Kikuyu community remaining popular over their Mbeere, Meru, and Embu neighbors combined.
Since the region is yet to field a serious presidential candidate, the region is perceived a battleground for DP Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.