Rigathi Gachagua, the Mathira MP and DP Ruto’s running mate in the August polls, has revealed the behind-the-scenes intrigues that led to DP Ruto naming him as his running mate.
In an interview with Inooro FM on Tuesday, Rigathi shot down claims that UDA MPs voted in the race for second-in-command, which pitted him against Kithure Kindiki.
There were no votes cast before DP Ruto chose him for the top job, according to Gachagua, who appeared to be contradicting reports on the voting.
Gachagua claimed that DP Ruto consulted allied leaders on his running mate selection, but that no votes were cast.
“These are ouright lies, no votes were cast, you cannot stop people from saying what they want, a running mate is like a wife. People cannot cast votes in order for you to get you a wife because in the end, you are the one to live with her ,” Gachagua said.
“The issues of a running mate is very personal, DP Ruto was looking for a worker, a friend, someone who is principled and resolute, he wanted his running mate to have the same vision as he does, to change the lives of Kenyans,”
DP Ruto had no reservations about choosing Gachagua, but a smattering of leaders from the vote-rich Mt. Kenya region had chosen Kindiki, according to multiple publications.
There have been claims that Gachagua had lost twice to Kindiki in polls; one conducted nationally across Kenya’s 47 counties, and another conducted internally by a strategy and research team headed by former Cabinet Secretary Davis Chirchir.
In that poll, Kindiki trounced Gachagua, with Waiguru coming in third.
In the second survey, conducted nationwide in the 47 counties involved 25,000 respondents. Kindiki yet again emerging top, with Waiguru and Gachagua second and third respectively.
Central Kenya UDA MPs were called in for a vote. Senator Kindiki once again trounced Gachagua.
Out of the 31 Mt. Kenya UDA MPs present, 22 voted in favour of Kindiki 5 voted for Gachagua, two backed Waiguru, while Muturi obtained one vote, with one rejected vote.
Gachagua now claims that, despite knowing that DP Ruto had sole responsibility for selecting a running mate, he and Kindiki approached DP Ruto and told him that they would respect his decision.
“Kindiki has been my friend for many years , If he was the one who had been picked, I would have supported him,” Gachagua said.
” Kindiki and I went to DP Ruto and told him that there was no need for tension, and that we would support whatever decision he arrived at,”
DP Ruto had asked him to be his running mate at least six months before he was publicly introduced, and according to Gachagua, this was preceded by intense consultations.
Kindiki was among the leaders who called him to congratulate him after he was chosen, he claims, adding that the legislator who announced a hiatus after failing to clinch the slot, will land a spot in the Kenya Kwanza government if they win in August.
During the interview, Gachagua used the opportunity to respond to those who had accused him of being a brash dictator, saying he would likely bar others from meeting with DP Ruto if they won the August elections.
No one, according to Gachagua, can bar people from seeing Ruto because he has “already proven to be a people’s person.”
“No one can lock out people from Ruto, Ruto speaks to everyone, and we will be busy reviving the economy, paying off the China debt and uplifting Kenyans, surely where would you get time to lock people out?”