Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, having lost his bid to become Deputy President William Ruto's running mate, promised to make a statement on Monday, even as he thanked United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and Kenya Kwanza Alliance members for the far he said he'd come.
"I am eternally grateful to all those who supported and vouched for me to be named the UDA and Kenya Kwanza Alliance deputy presidential candidate for the August 9,2022 elections. Following the decision taken by my party and the coalition, I will make my official statement tomorrow (today)," Prof Kindiki said.
Prof Kindiki skipped Deputy Ruto’s event, which unveiled Rigathi Gachagua as the Kenya Kwanza running mate.
On Saturday Dr Ruto’s official residence in Karen became the theatre of a major daylong political standoff yesterday as the anticipated announcement of his running mate failed to materialise, exposing sharp divisions in the Kenya Kwanza camp.
The naming of a running mate that Dr Ruto, the coalition’s presidential aspirant under the UDA flag, had recently described as the “easiest” thing, ran into headwinds as the lawmakers from Mt Kenya split on whether to settle on Prof Kindiki or Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.
Sources told the Sunday Nation that while Dr Ruto had no problem settling for Mr Gachagua, a majority of Mt Kenya legislators rooted for Prof Kindiki.
Alternatives to the two were also floated as compromise candidates to ease the standoff.
While unveiling Mr Gachagua, Dr Ruto praised Professor Kindiki, alluding to his absence without offering any explanation.
“I want to thank my lawyer and friend Abraham Kithure Kindiki who became the runner up. Even though the current senator of Tharaka Nithi is not here with us now, he brought a lot of passion to this contest, “Dr Ruto said.
Those who vouched for him say his cool, collected and soft-spoken mien would have complemented Dr Ruto’s forceful character and that he can be a pacifying figure in government.
They add that with his expertise in international law and his scholarship, Prof Kindiki would make a good diplomat as the country’s number two should the DP win.
Prof Kindiki, from Tharaka in the larger Meru region, was seen as an answer to the historical grievance within Mt Kenya East against their Mt Kenya West ‘cousins’.
The region, which has voted with their cousins in Central Kenya, have always complained they have long held the short end of the stick.
Although a dyed-in-wool supporter and a key advisor of the DP for nearly 20 years, Prof Kindiki, has mostly been a behind-the-scenes political marksman, rarely taking to the frontline as the political war between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy festered since their fallout in 2018.
But this has changed lately as the senator has taken a more prominent role in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance Presidential campaigns at a crucial time when the country is moving closer to the August 9 General Election. He was involved in the drafting of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance’s agreement that has been deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.