Ruto running mate: Here are the Karen intrigues as country kept waiting

Leaders allied to Kenya Kwanza arriving at DP William Ruto’s Karen residence on May 14, 2022. [Samson Wire, Standard]

An announcement that was to be made at around 10am today (Saturday, May 14) proved a not-so-easy task as supporters of Deputy President William Ruto grew anxious as each minute pulled dusk closer.

Initially, the announcement on who will be Ruto’s running mate had been scheduled for 10am, then 1pm, then 3pm. By 5:30pm (the time of publishing this story) there was still no sign of white smoke.

All of Ruto’s communications representatives were not picking journalists’ calls as the country remained on edge.

The Standard understands that dissatisfactions rocked Ruto’s boat as word got louder that Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki was the chosen one.

Reports suggest that a dissatisfied Rigathi Gachagua remained adamant that he was equally of commendable political muscle to help Ruto achieve his dream of leading the nation.

It is this stalemate that had the country kept on the edge for more than eight hours Saturday.

Due to the resultant impasse, could Ruto pull a wildcard? We don’t know, only time will tell.

Standard Group’s camera person Samson Wire, who had been deployed to Deputy President William Ruto’s Karen residence for the anticipated press conference, reports that Rigathi Gachagua’s vehicle was seen driving out of the DP’s home a few minutes to noon.

At what time had he arrived at the residence? We don’t know. However, we’re sure that intense lobbying, justifications, compromise talks, and promises preceded his reported exit from Karen.

Kithure Kindiki, who had also arrived at the DP’s residence early Saturday, Wire said, remained inside – throughout – as Kenya stayed on edge.

Other politicians who had made their way to Ruto’s home include Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, Soy MP Caleb Kositany, Nandi Governor Joshua Sang, Aldai MP hopeful Marianne Kitany, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo and Starehe MP hopeful Simon Mbugua.

Journalists had been kept waiting outside the DP’s main gate for hours, with most of them admitting that despite having good sources within Ruto’s camp, the Saturday developments ensured they remained in the dark until the right time comes.

The running mate-naming was supposed to be an easy task, if Ruto’s diary was anything to go by. The DP had been scheduled to fly to Ewaso Nyiro, Narok County for the burial of Nominated MP David Sankok’s 15-year-old son Hillary Memusi Sankok.

However, the teenager was buried as intense lobbying and compromise talks continued under the DP’s stewardship.

The Standard understands that the race for running mate narrowed down to Kindiki and Gachagua.

A firm go-getter and loyal rooter, Gachagua is said to have asked Kenya Kwanza to requite his support by endorsing his interest in the deputy president seat.

Will he soften his granite stance? Only time… and of course Ruto, will tell.

But before then, we understand that Kindiki also left Ruto’s residence in a huff three minutes past 5pm Saturday. He drove out in a black Sport Utility Vehicle.

“Rigathi Gachagua left, Kithure Kindiki has also left. We’re in the dark, none of Ruto’s communications representatives has told us what happens next,” said Standard Group’s camera person Samson Wire.

Outside the DP’s home, pockets of UDA supporters were grouping in the evening, hoping to know the presidential pair that the party will field in the August 9 polls.