NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – The 2022 General Election is beckoning, and political leaders are already in a campaign mood with players aligning themselves with formations they believe will catapult them to victory ahead of the high-stake polls.
Deputy President William Ruto who is keen to succeed his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta once his term lapses has been on a charm offensive conducting countrywide tours in a bid to drum up support for his candidature.
During the weekend, DP Ruto stepped up his efforts wooing Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka to join his camp ahead of the 2022 polls.
Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has hinted that a political coalition with DP Ruto is favorable but Musyoka has appeared reluctant to endorse his candidature only vowing to commit to his promise of working with President Uhuru Kenyatta a commitment he made during the burial of his father a year ago.
In an exclusive interview with Capital FM News, Muthama who hinted at a possible comeback in 2022 strongly defended DP Ruto’s character noting that despite his political competitors being critical about his integrity, he (DP Ruto) “has never been charged in a court of law to date”.
Muthama said he was inclined to respect the electorate’s views on the grassroots who have since “pleaded with him to try his luck in 2022.”
He was however elusive on which position he will be vying for sources indicted the former senator, once a vocal critic of Ruto, is eyeing the Machakos Gubernatorial seat.
Muthama’s statements were reinforced by DP Ruto who while attending the burial of Rael Mbeleete, mother to the former Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu in Makindu, Makueni County, said politicians were entitled to the freedom of association which he said was not limited to making new political allies.
“Political friendship is healthy, but we will pull out political cards at right time,” he quipped.
“We live in a free country; you can’t be forced to be someone’s friend. So, let’s talk with Kalonzo. The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has opened an opportunity for negotiations. I don’t mind working with Kalonzo,” said the Deputy President.
Muthama maintained he will spearhead the coalition talks with other political parties but emphasized a DP Ruto partnership will bag the presidency.
“In our coalition formation discussion and DP Ruto emerges to be the candidate picked by the coalition that we will be forming, why would I not support him?” he posed.
While conceding that such talks would be met with sharp resistance from a section of Wiper party members, Muthama said he will work to convince Musyoka that an alliance with the DP Ruto would ensure that the people of the larger Ukambani region have a share in government come 2022.
He said he will first front the idea before the party for consensus building.
“I belong to Wiper Party and I have a responsibility to correct my party leader when he sways. Democracy is when you are being challenged when you make certain statements,” he said.
Ruto and Muthama have voiced opposition to countrywide BBI consultative fora organized by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga terming the meetings “a waste of public resources”.
“The politics in this country is founded and constructed under tribal bases,” he said.