Moment Anne Waiguru referred to Ruto as Azimio leader at Kenya Kwanza event

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru [David Njaaga, Standard]


Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru had a slip of the tongue on Tuesday, April 12 when she referred to Deputy President William Ruto as the leader of Azimio la Umoja coalition.

Kenya Kwanza held a coalition agreement signing ceremony at the Ngong Racecourse in Nairobi to welcome at least 11 other parties to the coalition.

The parties that entered into a coalition pact with Kenya Kwanza are Chama Cha Kazi, Communist Party of Kenya, Devolution Party of Kenya, Economic Freedom Party, Farmers’ Party, KADU Asili Party, Shirikisho Party of Kenya, The Service Party, Tujibebe Wakenya Party, Umoja Maendeleo Party and Umoja Summit Party.

The 11 parties join United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Ford Kenya and Amani National Congress (ANC) in Kenya Kwanza.

Different leaders, including Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, took the stage to address the gathering after the parties signed a coalition agreement.

In her speech introduction, Waiguru said: “Your Excellency [the] Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya and the Party Leader of UDA and the leader of the Azimio [la Umoja] group, William Ruto…”

The governor immediately realised her mistake, and said: “Sorry, oh my goodness! And the leader of Kenya Kwanza Alliance, my sincere apologies. [I didn’t mean to call the DP the leader of Azimio la Umoja]. I was thinking what I’d say about them (Azimio).”

The county chief, thereafter, welcomed the 11 new parties to Kenya Kwanza, saying: “This is an alliance that is more than just a political movement. It is a hope for most of us. Many people say that since some of us joined Kenya Kwanza, our facial expressions have changed. We are a little more relaxed. On the other side (Azimio), you did not know who was your ally, and who was pulling you [down].”

The governor heaped praise on Ruto, saying he’s been “reachable, exemplary and a good listener”.

“When we differ, you (Ruto) have a way of taking charge and leading us in the direction that you want us to go. As your followers, we support you and stand with you. We have the confidence that Kenya will have the best president [in you] come August 9. We will win the presidential election with a huge margin. We have the numbers,” she said.

Waiguru’s communications officer, who spoke to The Standard in confidence, said the gaffe “left madam (Waiguru) very much embarrassed”.

“It’s normal for people to have a slip of the tongue. However, the function that it happened in, left her very much embarrassed. But I’m glad she managed to acknowledge the mistake and picked herself up. The rest of her speech was brilliant,” he said.

Azimio la Umoja is led by Raila Odinga of ODM. Odinga is Ruto’s fiercest competitor in the upcoming presidential election.