William Ruto to name his running mate later today

Kithure Kindiki

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua (left) confers with Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki at a past event. 

Photo credit: John Njoroge | Nation Media Group

Kenya Kwanza Alliance will name William Ruto running mate later today. In a brief press briefing at 12.50am, Deputy President’s Head of Communications Hussein Mohamed assured Kenyans that the process of picking Dr Ruto’s running mate had been finalised.

On Saturday, the much awaited unveiling of Dr Ruto’s running mate almost ran into headwinds amid reports of a major standoff.

By 5.30pm Saturday, Members of Parliament allied to Dr Ruto were reportedly divided over the choice of Senator Kithure Kindiki and Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

At 5pm, Prof Kindiki and Mr Gachagua drove out of the meeting, pointing to a possible standoff. Other legislators including Kenya Kwanza Alliance principals, were said to be still going on with negotiations, making what was expected to be the “easiest” exercise for Dr Ruto to snowball into a major crisis.

Major stalemate

Communication sent on Friday had indicated that the unveiling would be done at 10am.

But when lawmakers allied to Kenya Kwanza arrived at Dr Ruto’s Karen residence, a major stalemate emerged, forcing the team to convene a crisis meeting.

There was tension between MPs who were rooting for Senator Kithure Kindiki against a handful in support of Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

Protests over delay in naming William Ruto running mate

 As that went on, protests were reported in Mathira constituency, Mr Gachagua’s backyard, with his supporters demanding that he be given the slot.

Dr Ruto is reported to have settled on Mr Gachagua but a majority of MPs from Mt Kenya were opposed to this.

Amani National Congress of Musalia Mudavadi was also said to be opposed to Mr Rigathi’s selection. Dr Ruto had earlier in the week described the process of picking a running mate as the easiest thing that does not deny him sleep.

At about 3pm, there were signs that the team was about to call in the Press to reveal the chosen candidate but it turned into yet another false start. Journalists had been camping at the gate since Saturday morning.    

The deadline for presidential candidates to name and file with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is at midnight on Monday.