How Charity Ngilu bargained her way into the 2013 Uhuru, Ruto deal

President William Ruto (left), former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu (second left) former President Uhuru Kenyatta (right)at Bomet Green Stadium in August 2019. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

People do things and go to extreme levels to get what they want and protect what they have.

In politics, it's even worse.

In 2013 as the country was preparing to head to the General Election, politicians were also busy planning, aligning and organising their parties.

The main competitors were former president Uhuru Kenyatta-then running on a Jubilee Party ticket and Raila Odinga, formerly of the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD).

Both teams needed team players and people with influence.

Among the most sort-after politician was Charity Ngilu who led the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) Party and had influence, especially in the Ukambani region.

Ngilu too wanted a share for herself and her party, but her last-minute opportunistic decisions saw her lose a good deal one-two many times.

In Duale's now-viral book For The Record, he talks about how a certain Kiambu politician stole from Ngilu to protect Jubilee Party from its competitor, CORD.

"Ngilu is a schemer. She had insisted that we had to sign a deal with her before unveiling the manifesto. Uhuru, Ruto, and Ngilu signed and there, we had a deal. Ngilu took her copy, she insisted on it and put it in her bag," Duale narrates.

"We crossed over to Kasarani [for the unveiling of the manifesto] and a vocal politician in Kiambu was sitting in the second row, just behind Ngilu. He later told me that he saw the document [signed deal] jutting out of Ngilu's handbag and just took it. She was not going to blackmail us into working with her," an excerpt from the book reads.

According to Duale, they did not want to her to carry the document to Odinga's camp and negotiate a better deal.

Ngilu has mastered the art of correctly predicting the direction of the country's politics and properly aligning herself with the possible winners.

That year, she ran for Kitui County senatorship which she lost to David Musila. She was later named Cabinet Secretary for Land, Housing, and Urban Development by former President Uhuru, honoring the initial deal they had with her.