Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki has affirmed his support for Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential bid after missing out on the running mate slot.
Speaking on Citizen TV’s News Night show on Tuesday, a day after announcing a break from politics, Kindiki also pledged his support for Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, who clinched the running mate position.
The legislator noted that miscommunication was largely to blame for his absence at Ruto’s running mate unveiling event in Karen on Sunday, an incident that raised eyebrows.
While allaying fears of cracks in the Kenya Kwanza camp, Kindiki said when he left Ruto’s official residence in Karen in the wee hours of Sunday morning, the DP had informed him of his decision to name Gachagua as his running mate.
Ruto was to name his deputy on Saturday morning but the unveiling was pushed to 1 pm, later 3 pm and eventually ended up not happening, due to the last minute jostling between Gachagua and Kindiki, the finalists in the search for the DP’s running mate.
Kindiki said after leaving the DP’s residence he went home and later went to church at Valley Road.
He said he hoped to attend the running mate unveiling press conference at the DP’s Karen residence after church as agreed with the rest of the team.
However, the DP and his delegation, who attended a service within the second in command’s residence, went on with the unveiling early than he had anticipated.
“When we left his premises on Sunday morning, myself, Gachagua and a few colleagues remained behind and that is why I was partly late for the function. I think there was a miscommunication,” he said.
“When we left there at 3:30 am we had agreed that the announcement would be done after church so I went to my regular place of worship and Ruto did the same also went to a church within his residence but I didn’t get the timing correct. My church service delayed a bit.”
By the time he got out of the church, Kindiki said, the press conference was underway.
“So when I left the church before the service and I saw a missed call from my party leader (Ruto). I called back but he didn’t pick up. I went online and found that he had started speaking and that is why he didn’t pick the call,” he said.
He said he suspended plans to attend the event since he didn’t want to cause a scene by arriving late.
“What I did is text him. I told him sorry I am late but it will look untidy for me to drive all the way from my church in Valley Road to Karen, come late and cause a scene for nothing because I knew what the decision was,” he said.
“Losers disappear and they throw tantrums. I had no issue with being there to congratulate my brother. I had no obligation to call him the next morning either.”
A total of six candidates were considered for the DP post through polls and other parameters the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party deemed fit for the process.
Kindiki noted he narrowly missed the post after topping in several polls and receiving overwhelming support from UDA MPs from the Mt Kenya region, where Ruto’s running mate came from.
Others who made it to the shortlist include MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu), Alice Wahome (Kandara), National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru.