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Alice Wahome: Forget running mate, Ruto will get all Mount Kenya votes

Kandara MP Alice Wahome. [File, Standard]

Kandara MP Alice Wahome has downplayed the criticism on the choice of running mate for the Kenya Kwanza Alliance and instead expressed her optimism that his party leader will bag the most votes from the Mount Kenya region.

Wahome was among the candidates shortlisted to deputise William Ruto in the upcoming polls. Ruto settled on Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua.

Speaking at an interview on Spice FM this morning, Wahome said that she believes that if a presidential candidate is strong, then a running mate should be the least of their concern.

“I believe that a running mate is not of major consequence if the presidential candidate is strong. Let us not be distracted by the focus of a running mate,” Wahome said.

“Some voters are not yet decided and our regular visits to the region are to ensure we consolidate the support. With or without a running mate Ruto will still get all Mount Kenya votes. His choice of a running mate has no change in numbers,”

When questioned further, the lawmaker defended her party leader’s choice, saying Gachagua was ‘loyal’.

“The DP needed someone he can trust and Gachagua is equal to the task, and will deliver. He understands Ruto’s agenda and is well-spoken and educated. As long as he understands his role and the DP’s plan for the country. Of course, he will need assistance and that is why the rest of us are here,” she added.

When posed with a question on whether her political faction felt threatened by the entrance of former Gichugu MP Martha Karua to the 2022 politics, she said ‘The people supporting Azimio in Mount Kenya are Raila and Uhuru supporters. Karua cannot add much to the ticket. She can only bring around 30, 000 votes to Azimio, which is what she got when she ran in 2013’.

“She will not eat into our votes,” Wahome said.

Further, the legislator has also revealed that in efforts to secure the Mount Kenya voting bloc, the DP has made numerous trips to the region, both in official and personal capacities.

“The DP has come to Kandara more than four times, to either commission or inspect government projects. In the first term, he came once but sent me to represent him on two occasions. Ruto has visited all constituencies in Mount Kenya,” she told Spice FM.

However, the lawmaker has confirmed that her party leader’s visits could be more if his personal visits, fundraisers and church attendance are anything to go by.

“The DP has also visited on his personal level on many separate occasions. Most of the Sundays are dedicated to his personal visits and churches,” Wahome said.

Research conducted by the Nation revealed that DP Ruto has, in the past six months, visited Mt Kenya 36 times.

According to the research, the tally excluded rallies addressed by other Kenya Kwanza leaders in his absence.

Of the 36 visits to the counties of Embu, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Meru, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Nyeri and Tharaka-Nithi, Dr Ruto has visited Kiambu nine times in the past six months, with Nyandarua taking second place with five visits.