gaining traction

Kenya: Can William Ruto secure support from Mount Kenya in time for 2022?

By Son Gatitu

Premium badge Reserved for subscribers

Posted on July 27, 2021 13:49

Deputy President William Ruto attends a church service in Karen, Nairobi
Deputy President William Ruto attends a church service in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya, August 13, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Ahead of general elections in Kenya slated for 9 August 2022, a curious change is taking place in the region of Mount Kenya. For the first time, a fairly new party – the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) – is gaining traction under the leadership of William Ruto. But will this be enough to ensure a fourth president comes out of the region? 

The Mount Kenya voting bloc comprises 10 out of 47 counties. In the next election that is set for 2022, the region is expected to play a critical role in the presidential vote.

Based on the 2017 figures from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kenya had a voter population of 19.6 million. To win an election, a presidential candidate would need more than 9.8 million votes, if all voters were to take part in the poll. With the Mount Kenya region carrying the bulk of 5.3 million voters, a candidate who dominates this region is somewhat sure of a win.

But for the first time in 30 years, Mount Kenya is likely to face an election without a formidable candidate from the region.

With no Matiba, Kibaki or Kenyatta as a candidate for the next general election, Mount Kenya is torn.

Unlike what happened during the 2013 and 2017 polls – when counties backed parties that were

There's more to this story

Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.

Subscribe Now

cancel anytime