Why Anne Waiguru is William Ruto’s best bet for deputy

Deputy President William Ruto when he received Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru to UDA at his Karen residence, Nairobi County. [DPPS]

It is not too early to start thinking about separating the wheat from the chaff in the choice for running mate for UDA’s presumptive nominee for President, Dr William Ruto. And in my take, in many essential respects, Governor Anne Mumbi Kamotho presents a compelling choice.

She is a political rock star — a woman of many firsts with a remarkable track record. She is the first female governor of Kirinyaga County, elected on first attempt, and one of the only three women governors. She is the senior most elected woman leader in UDA.

She has also served as the pioneer Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary. Prior to that, she was the Director, Integrated Financial Management and Information System (IFMIS), and Head, Governance Unit, at the Treasury, in the Ministry of Finance.

If one was looking for the “wheat” in the UDA movement, then governor Anne Mumbi Kamotho provides a complete and satisfying answer. UDA’s bottom up campaign strategy is organised around identity politics. It is about politics of inclusion.

It is about uplifting the ordinary mwananchi and making sure that their voices count every step of the way. It is about taking power back to the people. It is about upsetting status quo, rejecting the authority of the deep state, and relegating power brokers to the periphery.

In this regard, one of the lowest hanging fruits in the politics of inclusion is to nominate a woman as running mate. There cannot be any two ways about it. I have argued before, that a woman running mate is a matter of constitutional compliance as it is a practical sense issue—women constitute the largest voting block and therefore nominating a woman running mate comes with political dividends.

There is also the lingering grievance that despite their numbers and track record in leadership, women have previously been sidestepped in the choice for running mate. The General Election scheduled for August 9, 2022 presents an opportunity for a fresh start towards inclusive leadership.

As a thought leader of public sector reform for more than 15 years, and as a serving governor with hands on practical experience on the niggling challenges of governance, governor Anne Mumbi Kamotho brings an enviable wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise for a woman running mate.

Her nomination as running mate, and subsequent election as Deputy President will undoubtedly provide the political and technical expertise necessary to implement UDA’s economic revolution. 

She is a brilliant, youthful and authentic politician. She is also a devoted wife and mother who cares for the future of this country.  For her, failing is not an option.

Her quest for youth and women empowerment is well documented. She represents and speaks for the marginalised and neglected voices, which is at the epicentre of UDA’s politics of change and renewal. Simply put, she is the perfect running mate for Dr William Ruto.

-The writer is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya