My choice as Ruto’s running mate was done transparently, says Gachagua

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua has defended United Democratic Alliance presidential flag bearer Dr William Ruto for settling on him as his preferred running mate.

Gachagua who managed to edge out five other contenders to clinch the slot says his choice was not out of favouritism but due to his many years in the civil service and ruthless working style that has carved him a name at the national stage.

Priding himself as a man who rose from a nondescript family background to a notable government officer during the late President Daniel Moi’s regime before working as a personal aide to President Uhuru Kenyatta prior to the 2013 general poll, the lawmaker therefore claims his candidature for the second most powerful slot in Kenya’s leadership echelon as the most ideal.

“I know how the government works and will definitely employ that experience in assisting Ruto to run the government once we clinch victory in the August 9 elections. I have worked with him (Ruto) for 25 years and I believe we shall have a seamless working relationship with him as his loyal deputy,” he said during a live talk show on Inooro TV.

Prodded to comment on alleged betrayal on Tharaka Nithi’s Senator Kindiki Kithure who had been tipped to get the position, the first time Mathira lawmaker dismissed the claims saying the decision to nominate him was done through consensus.

He said the decision to settle on the ultimate candidate was arrived at after two names-that of Kithure and himself -remained on the table and members allowed Ruto to choose between the two.

Gachagua also revealed opinion was heavily tilted to his favour owing to his ruthless grass root mobilization skills and hard stance in defending the rights of the region especially in terms of agriculture and business ventures.

“There were no disagreements over whether the running mate will come from Mount Kenya East or West and such allegations are therefore far-fetched. I was only picked after it was agreed I was in a better position to consolidate the entire Mount Kenya votes to our party and ensure Dr Ruto is elected the fifth president of the country,” he said.

“In addition, my agitation on issues such as coffee, tea, milk and miraa and reviving of stalled projects in the entire Mount Kenya region was also top on my agenda. And this led Ruto to finally settle down on me,” he added.

Questioned on their suitability to lead the country owing to their doubtful integrity queries hanging over their heads, Gachagua downplayed the matter terming it an attempt to stall their journey to State House.

He alleges that despite having been implicated in several corruption related cases alongside his party boss, none has ever taken off to date owing to lack of evidence.

The MP also argued that his woes began the moment he decided to back Ruto in his quest to succeed Uhuru and his spirited fight for the rights of the downtrodden.

“Each of the cases that have been lined up against me is as a result of my support for Ruto and his political ideologies. I have also been falsely accused of defending the rights of business people after the authorities descended on them by closing down their businesses,” he noted.

“Remember both Uhuru and Ruto had been charged before The Hague on trumped up charges but still ended up winning the presidency. Every pure metal must first go through the furnace before it can be polished,” he stated.

Gachagua will now have to convince voters in the 11 counties that comprise the expansive Mount Kenya region to block the Azimio la Umoja -One Kenya alliance presidential candidate Raila Odinga from eating into the close to six million votes for him to have any chance of becoming a deputy president.

The party’s situation was complicated further yesterday after former Gichugu lawmaker Martha Karua was picked to be Raila’s running mate putting UDA’s erstwhile perceived dominance in the Mount Kenya region under threat.



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