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Ruto's watertight strategy to avert UDA nomination fallout



 Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of Patrick Ole Ntutu's gubernatorial bid at Olopirik Farm Narok County on Tuesday, March 22, 2022. [Rebecca Nduku, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto has employed a watertight strategy to avert any fallout in United Democratic Alliance party and Kenya Kwanza Alliance ahead of party nominations.

In places where there are two or more popular contestants, the DP has urged them to reach a consensus and decide on one candidate, as he adopts a gather all and scatter none game plan.

This, he hopes, will help him hold on to his political bases after the usually chaotic party primaries.

The DP’s strategy team has mapped out positions in which they believe consensus can be reached.

Members agreeing to step down for the common good of the party and those who are aligned will be assured of positions should Kenya Kwanza Alliance win the August 9 elections.

What started in Nyeri County a month ago was yesterday extended to Narok where the county leadership agreed on their lineup for local and parliamentary seats.

Last month, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga struck a political deal with UDA county coordinator Wahome Mwangi (Wamatinga) that would see the county boss go for his second term, while the rival settles for Senate position.

Yesterday, Ruto attended an event where leaders from Narok UDA leadership agreed on a lineup of contestants.

The event also saw Narok governor aspirant and former Labour Chief Administrative Secretary Stephen Ntutu launch his bid.

The leadership of the county agreed that they will have current Governor Samuel Tunai contest for senator.

Initially, Ntutu would have faced off with County Woman Representative Soipan Tuya, Narok West MP Gabriel Tongoyo and Narok East MP Kores ole Lemein.

Sources said having found out that such a contest would not be in UDA's favour, Ruto had a two-day retreat in a Masai Mara hotel where he asked the leaders to agree amongst themselves and a few of their confidants and give him their decision.

Yesterday, Ms Tuya stepped down for Rebeca Tonkei, wife of late police inspector Joshua Tonkei, the bodyguard of the late Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, and will not vie for any position in the county.

Notably, in the strategy, Ruto is said to be trying to avoid a situation where he will be bogged down with firefighting because of fall-outs instead of working on a team that will focus on the presidency.

Those who voluntarily agree to a consensus and help the party avoid contentious rivalry in primaries like Ms Tuya would get government appointments.

A similar arrangement was implemented in Tharaka Nithi where Senator Kithure Kindiki stepped down for the current Governor Muthomi Njuki, with the latter promised a position in the Senate after the polls.

Some of the counties where the DP’s strategy team believes could help if there was consensus include Kiambu, Kajiado, Kakamega and Embu for governor's seats. Laikipia East National Assembly seat could also require consensus between TSP leader Mwangi Kiunjuri and Woman Rep Cate Waruguru.

In Kiambu, five of Ruto's allies in the form of Senator Kimani Wamatangi, former governors William Kabogo and Ferdinand Waititu, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and his Thika counterpart Patrick Wainaina (Jungle) are gunning for governor seat.

Though it is only Wamatangi, Waititu and Jungle who will be battling for the UDA ticket, a source said the DP was keen on having the aspirants agree on a possible line up.

He said those who will free themselves will join the DP's national campaign team and be considered for plum government appointments, should he clinch the presidency.

In Embu, Nominated MP Cecily Mbarire is expected to battle it out with Manyatta MP John Muchiri while in Kajiado MP Katoo ole Metito of Kajiado South and Peris Tobiko of Kajiado East will fight for the governor's seat

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