Deputy President William Ruto key point man in the Mt Kenya region Rigathi Gachagua says he will be defending his Mathira constituency seat during the August elections.
Gachagua who made the announcement on his Facebook post has raised eyebrows as he was presumed to be the probable running mate for Ruto in the presidential contest.
“I have paid the official fee to defend the Mathira Parliamentary seat on a UDA ticket,” he said.
The lawmaker stated that Mathira constituency is the political bedrock for United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and anyone daring to unseat him should face him in the party’s nomination.
“I invite all those who wish to unseat me to join UDA before tomorrow’s deadline and face me in the Party nominations as they have no chance being in any Party associated with Azimio,” Gachagua noted.
The Mathira lawmaker revealed his next political move as he showed receipt of payment to the UDA ‘s National Election Board for the party’s primaries.
Gachagua solidifying his allegiance to Ruto and officially decamping from Jubilee to UDA.
“I have officially left my former party Jubilee and joined the Party of the future UDA,” he said.
Gachagua is one of Ruto’s trusted ally and as such he would want him in his national campaign to boost his chances of becoming president next year.
It was therefore assumed that he would be a top choice when it comes to Ruto’s running mate.
His move to go for the Mathira’s constituency seat could signal that he might not be the suitable candidate to fill the running mate position.
Last year, Ruto had asked Mathira residents to allow the MP to play politics on the national stage as opposed to seeking any elective seat in the county or constituency.
Gachagua is seen as a powerful force in Central Kenya politics due his strong mobilization skills and deep pockets even though he faces numerous corruption battles with the government.
Political analysts have always predicted that Ruto is likely to pick his running mate from the vote-rich Central Kenya to maximise his potential of winning the presidency in August when incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta will be leaving office.
Kenyatta campaigned in a joint ticket with Ruto, winning two elections but fell out in this last term over the president’s dalliance with Opposition chief Raila Odinga whom he favours to be his successor