Moses Wetangula: I didn't run for Senate as fallback plan in case of Ruto loss

Moses Wetangula is Kenya’s eighth Speaker of the National Assembly. [File, Standard]

Speaker of the National Assembly Moses Wetangula has said that he was confident of a William Ruto victory in the August 9, 2022, presidential race.

Wetangula also dismissed claims that he ran for Bungoma Senate as a fallback plan in case Ruto lost the presidential election.

“I did not run for Bungoma Senate with the mindset that William Ruto would lose the presidential polls. I was confident in Kenya Kwanza’s ability to win the election,” Wetangula said on KBC Radio Taifa on Tuesday morning, November 1.

“I, actually, ran for the senatorial seat to encourage voter turnout in my backyard. Kenyans usually go to the ballot to vote for a person they identify with, and when he or she is not on the ballot paper, they tend to avoid voting,” said Wetangula.

The former three-term Bungoma Senator said he was confident that William Ruto would win the presidential election in the first round.

“During the campaigns, I had expressed confidence in Ruto’s ability to win the presidential polls, and he, indeed, won,” said Wetangula.

Ruto of UDA got 7.18 million votes (50.49 per cent) to be declared the winner. Raila Odinga of Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya got 6.94 million (48.85 per cent) to take the first runner-up slot.

Wetangula, 66, said that President Ruto stuck to the pre-election agreements he signed with Kenya Kwanza co-principals, seeing him (Wetangula of Ford-Kenya) heading to the National Assembly as Speaker, Musalia Mudavadi of ANC to the Cabinet as Prime Cabinet Secretary, Justin Muturi of DP replacing Kihara Kariuki as Attorney-General, Amason Kingi of PAA to the Senate as Speaker and Alfred Mutua of Maendeleo Chap Chap to the Cabinet as Foreign Affairs CS.

The Speaker of the Senate Amason Kingi has since declared a vacancy in the Office of Bungoma Senator following Wetangula’s ascension to the National Assembly as Speaker on September 8, 2022.

Wetangula defeated former Speaker Kenneth Marende, who had been fronted by Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya.

Wetangula was declared the winner of the September 8, 2022 speaker race after one round of voting.

In the first round of voting, there was no clear winner as neither Wetangula nor Marende attained the two-thirds majority.

Wetangula got 215 votes out of the maximum 349, while Marende got 130 votes.

The winning candidate was required to garner 233 votes (absolute majority) in the first round of voting to be declared the winner. In failed of that, a second round of voting was needed, in which a simple majority was needed to confirm the winner.

However, Marende withdrew from the Second Round of voting, prompting the Acting Clerk of the National Assembly Serah Kioko to declare Wetangula the winner.

Wetangula is the eighth Speaker of the National Assembly.

His predecessors are Sir Humphrey Slade (1967-1970), Fred Gideon Mbiti (1970-1988), Moses Arap Keino (1988-1991), Jonathan Arap Ng’eno (1991-1993), Francis Ole Kaparo (1993-2008), Kenneth Marende (2008-2013) and Justin Muturi (2013-2022).