Kenya: Who will Ruto and Raila choose as their deputies?

By Victor Abuso
Posted on Tuesday, 26 April 2022 18:50, updated on Tuesday, 28 June 2022 11:34

Kenya's presidential candidates Raila Odinga and William Ruto as they attend peace prayers at the Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya
Kenya's presidential candidates Raila Odinga and William Ruto as they attend peace prayers at the Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi, February 24, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

After pushback against Kenya's 28 April deadline to submit names of running mates, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has pushed the deadline to 16 May. But who are the likely deputies for the two top presidential candidates: Raila Odinga and William Ruto?

On 22 April, Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance council formed an advisory panel to recommend possible running mates for Raila Odinga.

Female leaders in Raila’s camp are pushing for a woman to be a running mate.

“We are saying that it is possible for the Azimio leadership to consider a woman to be a running mate of our presidential candidate,” says Charity Ngilu, whose Narc party is part of the Azimio la Umoja coalition.

But former Vice President and veteran politician Kalonzo Musyoka says he is the right person to work with Raila.

“Everything is plain so why should we waste time?  If [Raila] Odinga takes me, he will be the next President of Kenya,” he said in Kitui town last Sunday during a political rally.

Musyoka insists there is no need to form a council to choose a running mate.

From the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance camp, Musyoka alongside Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua, outgoing Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Agriculture Minister Peter Munya are the names floating as Raila’s deputy. Raila has not commented thus far as he is currently in touring the US.

As for who will be Ruto’s deputy it is almost a given that he will pick his running mate from the Mt Kenya region.

will accept the outcome of the election whichever way it goes’”]

Anne Waiguru, Governor of Kirinyaga county is one name being touted as a possible running mate.

“We’re breaking the glass ceiling in this election. The first female deputy president loading,” Milicent Omanga, a Ruto ally wrote on her Twitter Account.

The speaker of the national Assembly Justin Muturi who recently joined Ruto’s camp, is also a possible candidate for the running mate post.

Ruto has been quoted as saying he is ready to have a female deputy.

Deadline pushed back

Up until Tuesday 26 April, Kenya’s presidential and governor aspirants had until Thursday to submit the name the name of their respective running mate ahead of the general polls on 9 August.

In a letter sent to political parties last weekend, Chairman Wafula Chebukati said: “It is our considered view that by the time the party nomination window closes, presidential candidates should have nominated their running mates.”

The pending deadline was creating pressure on the two leading coalitions, Azimio La Umoja, led by Raila, and Kenya Kwanza led by Ruto.

Earlier, Azimio La Umoja presidential secretariat spokesman Makau Mutua wrote to the IEBC protesting the 28 April deadline, arguing that the electoral body should receive the running mate when they clear the Presidential candidates between the 29 May to 6 of June.

“The IEBC made the decision based on the constitution,” constitutional lawyer Bobby Mkangi tells The Africa Report. He refers specifically to article 148 of the constitution.

But, Mkangi recognises that the candidates are hesitant to formally announce their running mate decision out of fear of possible political repercussions.

“[The] running mate helps the Presidential candidate win an election, so they have to be careful.”

Understand Africa's tomorrow... today

We believe that Africa is poorly represented, and badly under-estimated. Beyond the vast opportunity manifest in African markets, we highlight people who make a difference; leaders turning the tide, youth driving change, and an indefatigable business community. That is what we believe will change the continent, and that is what we report on. With hard-hitting investigations, innovative analysis and deep dives into countries and sectors, The Africa Report delivers the insight you need.

View subscription options