Kindiki: Yes, Mudavadi, Wetang’ula have a 70 per cent vote target in Ruto deal

Deputy President William Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and FORD-Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula in Mumias on February 8, 2022.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki has confirmed that Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang'ula have a 70 per cent vote target from the 2.2 million Western vote bloc in a deal with Deputy President William Ruto.

As one of the drafters and custodians of the Kenya Kwanza coalition agreement, Prof Kindiki said Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula consented to provide the votes from Western region so that they could get the positions of Prime Cabinet Secretary and Speaker of the National Assembly, respectively.

"For Ford Kenya and ANC, it was decided that should we meet a certain threshold of votes where we have massive followings based on opinion polls and past elections, they can be assigned government responsibilities to a certain percentage,” said Prof Kindiki on Citizen TV.

“It is correct that the duo has to deliver 70 percent of votes from Western. They would not have signed if they were uncomfortable with that requirement." 

Critics of the Kenya Kwanza deal, especially those in Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition, have laughed off the target, saying Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula could not match the demand.

Western now has 2.2. million votes spread across its five counties and the battle for them is raging.

Mr Odinga received 82 per cent, or 1.186 million votes, in the region in 2017 against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 242,388.

While President Kenyatta had garnered a paltry 66,000 votes from the four Western counties in 2013, this figure went up eightfold in 2017.

If Dr Ruto were to get just a slice of the vote, even just a third or 700,000 votes, Mr Odinga’s 44.7 per cent that he had in 2017 would plummet even further.

This also saw Jubilee getting 12 MP seats from a region with overwhelming support for Mr Odinga.

The area did not have any Jubilee MP in the 2013-2017 Parliament. 

From the stellar performance in 2017, Dr Ruto has set his team in the region a target of 70 percent for a 30 percent pie of a Kenya Kwanza government.

Prof Kindiki confirmed that he had beaten Dr Ruto’s running mate, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, in private party opinion polls and in a vote taken by Mt Kenya leaders, but he conceded that he lost the race on other parameters.

Prof Kindiki’s revelations about the intrigues in the Ruto running mate race came following speculation about how Mr Gachagua eclipsed him.

"We found out that the party has been conducting secret opinion polls for the last six months. The six of us were then subjected to further opinion polls and electoral college votes by mainly elected leaders from Mt Kenya since it had been agreed that the position will come from that region,” Prof Kindiki said on Tuesday night.

“It is true that I emerged the winner. These polls were first within the 10 counties of Mt Kenya, then within the 47 counties. In all, I emerged top. The electoral college votes were also the same, I emerged top."

Even then, he said, there were other considerations at play.

"Opinion polls and electoral college votes were not the only available methods, since the selection of a running mate is an extremely personal decision of the presidential candidate. After putting together all the methods and parameters that were available, the aggregate pointed at Rigathi Gachagua to have been the leader," the two-term senator said.

He downplayed claims that the supremacy battle between Mt Kenya West and East worked in Mr Gachagua’s favour, arguing that if that were the case, the two methods – opinion polls and electoral college –votes could not have placed him at the top.

"That couldn't be the reason, because our party carries the Kenyan dream, that is equal opportunity for every citizen. If that could be true, then the electoral college votes could have reflected that reality because voting was done by representatives of the people and voting was overwhelming in my favour from that region. Therefore, that theory does not hold water," said Senator Kindiki.

Mt Kenya’s 10 counties control nearly a third of the country’s votes. Meru has 780,858, Tharaka Nithi (234,618), Embu (337,627), Nyeri (492,046) and Kirinyaga (378,580). Others are Murang’a (628,416), Kiambu (1,293,309), Laikipia (265,842), Nyandarua (362,357) and Nakuru (1,050,367). This adds up to 5,824,020 votes.

Mt Kenya East comprises Tharaka Nithi, Embu and Meru, whose votes add up to 1,353,103 against the West’s 4,470,917.

There were six contenders for the position of DP Ruto’s running mate: Prof Kindiki, Mr Gachagua, Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu MP), Alice Wahome (Kandara MP), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga governor) and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Prof Kindiki said his break from politics only means that he cannot defend his Senate seat now and with the election timelines having elapsed, he cannot reengineer his initial gubernatorial ambitions.

He said he had an agreement with the party that “to exit county politics, it means on August 9, I will not be running for any position”. 

“Technically, I am out of elective politics so have to take a break because I didn't get the running mate slot. I am not running for any county elective positions. The timelines are already gone. I am not a quitter. I even don't know what quitting means. I will be back for elective politics and not in the county, but on August 9 by design, I'll not be on the ballot," he said.

He said he is not available for appointive positions, disclosing that he would support DP Ruto for two terms and after that if an opportunity like the presidency presents itself, he will go for it.

"I spent 12 years of my life in the public sector doing different things outside politics. I was an academic, a consultant for international organisations, an advocate practising locally and internationally,” he said.

“When I decided to come to politics, I decided to apply my talent in helping humankind and fellow Kenyans solve national problems through elective positions not appointments. If I wanted to remain in what I was doing before, I could be Attorney-General or Chief Justice by now.”


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