Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has rescinded his decision to run for president and will instead commit to uniting Mt Kenya region for its posterity after next year's General Election.
Mr Kabogo said after wide consultations and soul searching, he has withdrawn from the race after supporters convinced him that it will be a two-horse race between ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.
The former governor, who has formed his Tujibebe WaKenya Party, was however quick to defend his decision saying he has all qualifications of a presidential candidate only that he did not want to engage in a futile exercise.
“I quit because I don’t want to waste money. After listening to various stakeholders, I was informed that I should wait for the best opportune time. I don’t want to repeat the mistakes of Peter Kenneth and Mohammed Dida of wasting money since I don’t have some to waste,” Kabogo said.
He said he had a feeling that he would make a good president since he has the qualities but was cautious not to attempt when he knew he would not make it.
In an exclusive interview with The Standard, Kabogo said given that there are high chances of both Raila and Ruto reaching out to each other after the conclusion of next year’s polls, he will divert his energy to agitate for unity so that the region may have a voice whether or not the two shake hands after the polls.
“Ruto’s presidency will be mad-house and vice versa and they will reach out to each other since Raila is a peacemaker and Ruto is his younger brother having worked together in 2007. If this happens, our region will be thrown into a political desert,” Kabogo noted.
According to the former governor, to ensure the region gets its voice even after 2022, it must have enough elected leaders who will not be under the mercies of either Ruto or Raila’s party.
“If we have elected leaders who will not be under the parties of either the two leaders, they shall not sit pretty when the region is being neglected on development while they will also provide checks and balances to the government,” Kabogo said.
At the same time, the former governor tore into both Raila and Ruto’s promises wondering why the two have failed to implement their missions through Parliament where they have enough numbers to approve their agenda.
“Both Raila and Ruto have enough numbers in Parliament they can marshal to support their ideas which they present to us. We must be very cautious with them and that is why we should have more political parties with elected leaders in the National Assembly after 2022,” Kabogo added.
He opined that the move by presidential aspirants to troop to the region to hunt votes will come to an end after the electioneering period and that the huge cash they offer will be a thing of the past.
“We lost track when we let our bedroom be invaded. We are being organised at boardroom levels and that is why we want to fight among ourselves until we unite," he observed.
Kabogo also claimed to have been promised a running mate position by Ruto but he declined for the sake of Mt Kenya region community.
He criticised him for purporting to take credit for the government’s achievements while at the same time exonerating himself from the blame of government failures.
With Kabogo stepping out of the presidential race, the region is left with two leaders campaigning for the country’s top job. They include Murang'a Governor Mwangi Wa Iria of Usawa Kwa Wote party and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi on Democratic Party of Kenya ticket.
Wa Iria has insisted that he will go all the way to the ballot, while Muturi has maintained that Mt Kenya region should not be told that they cannot produce another president after President Uhuru Kenyatta retires.