Kiunjuri: Why I Turned Down Ruto’s Money & Runningmate Post

Deputy President William Ruto.
  • Former Agriculture CS and Leader of The Service Party (TSP) Mwangi Kiunjuri has revealed intricated details of his perceived strained relationship with Deputy President William Ruto as well as why he turned down an assured running mate slot.

    Speaking on Sunday, August 15, Kiunjuri stated that his decision to insist on his own political party was inconvenient but strategic as it would guarantee the Mt Kenya region was respected in the event Ruto was elected President. 

    The party boss noted that there were many of his colleagues in the Mt Kenya region who were following UDA blindly because of being given handouts and perks such as campaign choppers and a running mate position. 

    The former CS stated that if he had sought to be the running-mate slot, he would have dissolved TSP and joined the Ruto-affiliated outfit, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). 

    Deputy President William Ruto.
    The Standard

    “If I decided to join UDA today, I have a guaranteed number nine jersey for the striker position or the number five as a defender. I would not lack a position in the party.

    “In Ruto’s government, the lowest slot I’d get is a ministry position. So, our people in Mt Kenya must ask themselves whether Kiunjuri, who has been in politics for over 25 years, would be foolish enough to turn down a deputy president position and instead toil organising the region into a political party – spending a lot of his time and money when he can easily get money and even choppers from Ruto?” he pondered.

    Kiunjuri added that the Mt Kenya region should be suspicious of Ruto’s talk that he would not form alliances but would focus on making UDA a national party.

    “A national party needs at least four elections to rise to that level. Look at our history with NARC, PNU, and Jubilee. Anyone who says he does not need to work with regions should be viewed suspiciously because even in churches, the moderator works with church elders,” he remarked. 

    The TSP Party Leader noted that despite his firm stand against joining UDA, he had not changed his mind about supporting Ruto for President. 

    “I have never changed my position that I support Ruto. My position is that as we give him the cow that produces milk, he must leave alone our heifers. Imagine the DP has almost 70 MPs in Parliament and he is being harassed every day, what will happen when we have a number 2 who lacks a strong team behind him?”  

    The former CS also addressed his recent meetings with Narc Kenya leader, Martha Karua, and Gatundu South Member of Parliament, Moses Kuria, stating that the talks were based on the interests of the Mt Kenya region.

    He also pointed out that the talks would continue and would break political barriers as it would involve all party stakeholders within the Central region which includes politicians from the Jubilee party, UDA, Orange Democratic Movement party.

    “Whether Kieleweke or Tangatanga, we are holding meetings as leaders of the Mt Kenya region. So, you may find Kieni MP Kanini Kega at our meeting next week or National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi in our meetings as well.

    “It’s a forum where we speak on matters regarding the interests of the Mt Kenya region,” he stated.

    Kiunjuri was heavily touted as the favourite to become Ruto’s running mate for the 2022 General election. Experts and pundits advocated for Ruto to select a leader from the Mt Kenya region in order to secure the Presidency.

    Other potential running mates include Kuria, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua and Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata. 

    United Democratic Alliance headquarters in Kilimani, Nairobi
    United Democratic Alliance headquarters in Kilimani, Nairobi