Gachagua running mate choice leaves UDA without candidate in Mathira
Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party will from today Monday start process to establish a suitable candidate for the Mathira parliamentary seat.
This after incumbent Rigathi Gachagua who was appointed as the running mate of DP Ruto just less than three months to the August General Election.
Before his unveiling on Sunday at Dr Ruto's Karen residence, Mr Gachagua had gotten direct nomination from to the party to defend his seat.
UDA Secretary General Veronica Maina told the Nation that although they had submitted their list of aspirants for various seats to the electoral agency, they are now forced to go back to the drawing board to fill the vacant position.
She said the decision will be made on Monday on whether the can use direct nomination, universal suffrage or any other means provided by the law to settle on the contender who will fly the party's flag in the August polls.
"We will replace the candidate. The law allows Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to substitute candidates for any valid reasons. We will decide tomorrow (Monday) method which will be applied," said Ms Maina.
UDA chairperson Johnston Muthama said: "We are going to sit down as a party and look at what IEBC says on such a matter thereafter, we shall agree on what to do pertaining to the replacement."
Despite giving indications that he was positioning himself for the running mate post, Mr Gachagua had set tongue waggling when he paid the UDA nomination fee.
“There is no registration for running mates and they are picked by presidential candidates. Has any running mate been picked? Then what is the problem? Let’s say that you are waiting for a salary then you get some money before it, will you leave it?” the Mathira MP told the Nation after paying the requisite nomination fees of UDA.
Mr Gachagua securing the UDA ticket then was viewed as a fallback plan in an event that he wouldn't have been picked as DP Ruto's deputy in Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) game plan.
Already the battle of titans is building up in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s restive region of Mount Kenya as UDA and Jubilee will square with one another come August 9.
DP Ruto’s UDA is putting everything in place to slash the pie of President Kenyatta’s Jubilee stronghold with the nominations having been concluded.
It is believed that those with UDA tickets have added advantage over other political parties both in Mount Kenya and Rift Valley, both of which played a key role in catapulting UhuRuto to State House both in 2013 and 2017.
But unlike in DP Ruto’s political bastion of Rift Valley more so Kalenjin speaking counties where those who have clinched UDA ticket are like they almost sure of being elected in August 9 polls, their colleagues in Mt Kenya are set for a bruising battle with those from other parties like Jubilee.
Dr Ruto’s UDA and the Kenya Kwanza Alliance side is looking for a majority in both Senate, National Assembly, Council of Governors (CoG) and county assemblies.
“We are looking at a super-majority in the Senate and National Assembly, just like Jubilee had. We have close to 165 MPs, but with Kenya Kwanza partners on board, the figures will be much higher. We expect to have 65 per cent of members in the National Assembly and the Senate. We want to win in at least 32 counties. This will ensure we do not encounter a challenge of numbers should our President need something done,” said Ms Maina, the UDA Secretary General.