Anthony Mwangi and Winstone Cheseremi @PeopleDailyKe
Former presidential aspirant and Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth has pledged to work with Deputy President William Ruto even as plans to have him become Ruto’s running mate in the 2022 General Election mooted.
Kenneth, who was in the company of Jubilee leaders from Mt Kenya and Rift Valley regions at Kaptinga Primary School in Uasin Gishu county during a funds drive in aid of five churches described Ruto as not only personal friend but age mate, who he is willing and ready to work with in Jubilee for the sake of unity and development.
Kenneth, who lost in his bid for Nairobi governor’s seat in the last General Election said he has no option but to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy to build the nation.
“Let us support the President and his deputy in their quest to fulfill the Jubilee Party manifesto and the Big Four agenda because we want our country to progress,” said Kenneth.
His sentiments come as plans to have him deputise Ruto in 2022 are being pushed by some Jubilee leaders both in Mt Kenya and Rift Valley regions.
Talks have been doing the rounds on bringing Kenneth on board with several public outings lined up to introduce the former MP as the possible Ruto running mate in the 2022 General Election.
The leaders expressed confidence that Ruto/Kenneth ticket would guarantee Jubilee victory after President Uhuru who is serving his last term, exits.
Led by Senate Leader of Majority Kipchumba Murkomen and Senate Deputy Speaker Kindiki Kithure, the leaders, who included Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kangata, MPs Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Joseph Ngugi (Gatanga), Janet Sitienei (Turbo), Caleb Kositany (Soy), Gideon Koske (Chepalungu), and Swarup Mishra (Kesses) said the ruling party was destined to retain power in the next General Election because of its development record and unity in the party.
Unity and development
Others were East Africa Legislative Assembly MP Florence Jematia, Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Alex Tolgos, among other dignitaries.
“We are happy that Peter Kenneth has agreed to work with the Deputy President and as a Jubilee family we will embrace him for the unity and development of the country,” said Murkomen, who also dispelled rumors that Jubilee Party was on the verge of disintegration ahead of 2022 election.
He accused ODM leader Raila Odinga of using all means at his disposal to wreck the Jubilee Party from within in a wider scheme to derail Deputy President from succeeding the President when he exits from office.
“We know Raila is the one perpetuating the lies to the effect that Jubilee Party is about to disintegrate. Let him know that his scheme will not succeed,” said Murkomen.
Kindiki said that the DP was being targeted by critics from all corners in a scheme to scuttle his chances of ascending to the top seat in 2022.
“Every bad thing that is happening in the country is being blamed on DP as part of the schemes by his critics to bring him down politically ahead of 2022,” said Kindiki, who is also Tharaka Nithi Senator.
Kuria claimed that all MPs from Mt Kenya region supporting DP’s 2022 bid have been receiving threats to withdraw from his camp. “We have been receiving threats and intimidation in Mt Kenya region for rallying our support behind DP in his bid to succeed President Uhuru when he retire in 2022,” said Kuria. Koske and Sudi told the President to be wary of Raila whom they said was not sincere.
The entry of Kenneth comes amid talks that for the DP to win the Mt Kenya region vote, he should pick an individual from the region as running mate to woe the locals.
Mt Kenya region hadmore than seven million registered voters in the 2017 General Election and those yearning for the presidency must fight to win over the region to increase their chances.
Speaking to the People Daily separately, Kang’ata said that time has come for his county to produce a national leader after having supported those from Kiambu and Nyeri for the presidency.
“We have supported Kiambu and Nyeri twice, our time has now come to produce a national leader and Kenneth is our choice,” Kang’ata said.
Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny, who also spoke on the matter said plans to bring Kenneth on board had been finalised.
“Kenneth is acceptable in his Mt Kenya background and outside. He is a national politician having been in politics for a while, his name is not tainted and hence sellable,” Kutuny said.