A schism in the vote- rich Mt Kenya area between the dominant west and their east counterparts has shaken Deputy President William Ruto' s camp in its search for a running mate in the 2022 State House election.
And, similar to the feud in President Uhuru Kenyatta' s camp, those from Mt Kenya east in the DP' s camp say that while they agree that Mt Kenya has the best chance of producing the DP' s running mate, that person should come from their side of the mountain, arguing that they had supported their west counterparts for far too long.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Murang' a counterpart Irungu Kang' ata, Tharaka Nithi Prof Kithure Kindiki, and MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira) are rumored to be interested in the role.
Mwangi Kiunjuri, the leader of The Service Party and a former Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, has also expressed interest. Senator Linturi stated that Mt Kenya East is uniting the area in order to have a unified voice in the event that one of them is chosen as the DP' s running partner.
Mr Linturi believes that because Kiambu and Nyeri have produced presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Mwai Kibaki, another powerful person cannot emerge from there.
Mt Kenya has already been transformed into a battleground territory that might sway any serious presidential candidate' s 2022 State House candidacy despite the political uncertainties rattling the nation.
With President Kenyatta stepping down in 2022, the region has not fielded a' serious' candidate to follow the Head of State, and it is proving to be a vital region for DP Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Mr Kuria, from Mt Kenya West, has been recommended as Dr Ruto' s deputy, with supporters highlighting the People' s Empowerment Party (PEPrecent )' s victory over a Jubilee candidate in the Juja by- election.
At the same time, Mr Gachagua, who has been hosting the DP' s allies, is said to have begun aggressive groundwork in Kiambaa for United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate John Njuguna Wanjiku to win in order to raise his profile in the camp and be chosen as a running partner.
Hustler Nation Narrative
Senator Kang' ata, who was ousted as majority whip in the Senate, appears to be gaining political clout with an eye on the country' s second- in- command position if the Ruto- linked UDA forms the next administration. He has also expressed a desire to succeed Governor Mwangi wa Iria.
The Murang' a senator' s recent trip to Seattle, in the US state of Washington' s northern region, to create a UDA liaison office was intended to improve his image in the DP camp. He also urged Kenyans in the diaspora to assist spread the Hustler Nation message, register more members, and support the team' s agenda.
Mr Kang' ata, who remained tight- lipped about whether he wants to be Dr Ruto' s running mate, stressed that the DP position in Dr Ruto' s camp should go to Mt Kenya.
Mr Gachagua and his Kiharu counterpart, Ndindi Nyoro, told the Nation that they were unconcerned about who would be granted which roles, claiming that the region has produced three Heads of State but nothing to show for it.
" What we are discussing with Ruto, our chosen candidate, are economic programs to revitalize the region' s and, by extension, the country' s economy, " Mr Gachagua added.
Blocking Ruto Presidency
" Minimum guaranteed returns on our cash crops. Once we have reached an agreement with him on these initiatives, we will consider what jobs our employees can fill to assist him in realizing his dream. "
Mr Nyoro claimed that the present implosions in Mt Kenya are being organized by the ' deep state' in order to prevent the DP from gaining power.
Mr Nyoro, a vehement opponent of the President, said individuals interested in Dr Ruto' s running mate position must work hard for it, noting that it will not be offered to everyone.
" DP will require a running mate, but that is not our current emphasis. It will take its time. We already know that the running companion will be from the Mt Kenya region. The question of positions will arise, but for the time being, we are improving our economic blueprints. " He stated.
" There is no politician who does not have ambitions. It is their democratic right to hope and wish, but more significantly, to work hard to be recognized as such a figure, but you cannot say that on Twitter or from the comfort of your own home. "
Other Options For DP Ruto
Former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar told the Nation that the Coast area is rallying around the DP not for the job of running mate, but for the chance to implement their economic ideas.
The DP was in Kilifi in May for the Coast Economic Regeneration Forum, which brought together Mombasa, Taita Taveta, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, and Tana River counties to establish the region' s economic plan, with an emphasis on tourism, the maritime sector, and land ownership concerns.
" On our end, we have made a conscious decision not to focus on positions, but rather on problems and our agenda. For us, the topic of conversation has altered. It is about revitalizing our economies as well as our individual spheres of political responsibility. The agenda for who will take which job is ethnic in nature " Mr. Omar stated.
For western Kenya, it appears that the potential of Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi running for President makes it unappealing for the DP to pick a running partner from there, especially considering that Mr Odinga, the ODM leader, also wields great power in the vote- rich region.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, who was ousted as National Assembly majority whip last year for associating with the DP, has stated that the area will settle for other seats other than the running mate role in the DP' s 2022 cabinet.
" Given the DP' s popularity, he will undoubtedly succeed President Kenyatta. I don' t think we' ll get to the point where a handful of us compel him to choose one of us to deputize him" He stated. " Again, it' s a numbers game, and if we' re not counting, how will we push for the running mate position? It will be unjust. "
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