Kithure Kindiki, Gachagua leave Ruto's residence in a huff after heated running mate meeting

Nothing to smile about yet for Kindiki and Gachagua supporters after heated meeting

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua (left) with Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki

After a long day in a meeting at DP Ruto's residence in which tempers reportedly flared, Mathira Member of Parliament, Rigathi Gachagua, and Tharaka Nithi Senator, Kithure Kindiki left in a huff.

The duo was billed as the front runners in the race to be Kenya Kwanza running mate with reports of disagreements on the running mate position.

First to drive out of the heavily-guarded home was Kindiki even as deliberations at the meeting remain a closely-guarded secret.

Shortly afterwards, Gachagua followed, leaving the rest of the team holed up in a meeting with Ruto, an indication that an agreement has not been reached yet and that the matter is more complex than the Kanya Kwanza brigade anticipated.

Reports indicate that Ruto had already settled on a running mate and was set to make the big announcement on Saturday, May 14 before Gachagua threw the spanner into the works with demands that returned the team back to the drawing board.

The Mathira MP reportedly made it clear that he would settle for nothing less than the running mate slot, arguing out that with the significant Mount Kenya vote block behind Ruto, the region should get the position and he is the most suitable candidate for the same.

In an unexpected turn of events, Gachagua who had declared that the task of choosing a running mate would be left entirely to Ruto took center stage.

"We have given him the free hand to pick his running mate as opposed to the other side whereby the talks are polarizing.

"Our presidential candidate is ready (to announce) because he is not held by any external forces." The MP explained in a recent interview.

Split in the Ruto camp

Others who were eyeing the slot are Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro.

However, they were elbowed out of the race with Kindiki and Gachagua emerging as favourites.

Two rival factions have thus emerged in Kenya Kwanza with one faction backing Kindiki for the slot and the other behind Gachagua, noting that the senator does not have a national appeal and lacks the political following desired.

Arguing his case, Gachagua noted that settling on Kindiki for the post will lead to low voter turnout particularly in Mt Kenya west region that stretches from Kiambu through Murang'a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Laikipia.

Those backing the Tharaka Nithi lawmaker on the other hand argued out that he is an accomplished professional with an impressive resume and a good record of development and policies.

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