The Duel is Set: Ruto names Rigathi Gachagua while Raila names Martha Karua as their Running Mates

The duel is finally set for the 2022 General Elections in Kenya as both Ruto and Raila named their running mates and deputy presidential candidates for their party tickets.

The Duel is Set: Ruto names Rigathi Gachagua while Raila names Martha Karua as their Running Mates
Presidential Candidates Raila Odinga and William Ruto. Source: The Africa Report.

The duel is finally set for the 2022 General Elections in Kenya as both Ruto and Raila named their running mates and deputy presidential candidates for their party tickets. Ruto named Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate while Raila Odinga named Martha Karua. For both, the choice was a crucial one and one that had to be made before the 18th of May, as per IEBC directives.

This Man Rigathi Gachagua

Ruto’s pick for running mate, Rigathi Gachagua is the current member of parliament for Mathira Constituency in Nyeri County. He started his career as a provincial administrator and was thrust into politics by the demise of his brother, the late Nderitu Gachagua. Rigathi was also once a private secretary to the current president, Uhuru Kenyatta who after the 2018 handshake, he fell off with and decamped to join Ruto’s UDA.

Rigathi the Handyman

To William Ruto, Rigathi Gachagua has been one of his most loyal handymen and some would say, henchman. Rigathi found in Ruto a politician with enough ambition and little inhibition against doing wrong that their political union felt like a match made in heaven. As things stand, Rigathi Gachagua has numerous cases he’s battling in court, having been accused of stealing billions of Kenya shillings. In Ruto’s camp, if you are loyal enough to embezzle some funds, then you are a keeper. Needless to say, that is one of the biggest reasons why Ruto picked Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate.

Climbing the Figurative Mountain

The other reason why Rigathi Gachagua was picked by Ruto as his running mate was to help Ruto galvanize the Mount Kenya/Central region. Ruto knows, like all politicians, that to clinch the presidential seat in Kenya you need one crucial region and that is the Mt. Kenya region. The Mt. Kenya region is the country’s biggest voting block boasting well over 6-8 million voters. This region is one of the sure ways to get to power and if you are a politician whose roots are not in Cental, then you need all the help you can get to persuade Central Kenya to vote for you. What better way to do that than to have your running mate be an individual who hails from that region?

Rigathi Gachagua the Hardliner

Another of Rigathi Gachagua’s suitabilities for the role of the running mate is that he is a hardliner. He is relentless in getting what he wants and will talk down on anyone to get it. He is one of the few Central Kenya politicians that you will hear criticize and sometimes dress down the president. In normal circumstances, politicians are too afraid to even mention the president. This is not only due to their fear of the man in power, which we think is unwarranted but also due to their fear of losing the support of their base which they know are supporters of the president. For Gachagua, however, he could not care less.

Rigathi Gachagua the Highroller

Far from being corrupt and hardline enough to be Ruto’s running mate, Rigathi Gachagua is also very wealthy. He is a billionaire, in fact, and has done quite well for himself. The thing is, however, little can be trusted about his wealth as he has been known to take from the national and county coffers. Even so, he is packed and for Ruto, Gachagua’s money and financial contribution to the campaign will be crucial. It is not cheap to run a campaign nowadays and without spending limits by the IEBC, as there should have been, politicians will likely splurge in the desperate pursuit of this country’s leadership.

Will Rigathi Gachagua be the Deputy President?

In our humble view, asking whether Rigathi Gachagua will be deputy president is the same as asking whether Donald Trump will be president back in 2016. As we now know, the answer is yes. The reason is, that he falls under the politician profile of what people are more likely to be persuaded by. In some confusing twist of fate, politicians who are divisive, controversial, and appear to be wealthy are very likely to get into power because they have all they need to not only invigorate the people but also infuriate others enough to have them vote for or against them. In the end, this translates to their increased popularity and with the right circumstances, the least qualified or fit for office end up becoming the officeholders in politics.

Raila’s Running Mate Pick: Martha Karua

On the other hand, Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga alias Baba picked former Gichugu MP Martha Karua as his running mate. Opting to go for and with Karua could be one of the most ingenious political choices that Raila has made in his career, we think, and we believe that finally, the political science he studied in Russia is really coming to play. Don’t get me wrong, Raila has always been a very sophisticated politician and political player. He is very strategic but his pick of Martha Karua is just playing on another level. Here’s why.

Martha Karua represents the Female Vote

As proud as we are that Martha Karua is now Azimio la Umoja’s deputy presidential candidate and is the first woman to be accorded such a high political slot, we also understand that the female vote is at play. Women make up the majority of the Kenyan population with studies even saying the female to male population is 3:1. As such, galvanizing the female vote by choosing a female running mate is just an ace in the poker of politics. That is not to say that it’s not about time that a woman occupied a political seat of presidential power but it is a very much appreciated beginning, albeit with hidden intentions. As we have said, the biggest is that Karua’s pick was a crafty way to bring women on board and persuade them to vote for Azimio la Umoja and Raila Odinga come August 9th, 2022.

Martha Karua as a Lady of the Mountain

The next best trait of Martha Karua that made her very valuable to Raila was that she comes from Central Kenya or the Mountain Region. As such, similarly to Rigathi, is a trojan horse to try and galvanize the Mt. Kenya vote and persuade Central Kenya to vote for Raila Odinga. The Mountain has long eluded Raila and now, it looks like his time to really have a go at changing their minds. All this newfound hope and optimism emanates from the 2018 handshake and the fact that the president, Uhuru, is essentially sponsoring and promoting Raila’s bid to become Kenya’s fifth president. He is even now being referred to as ‘the fifth’.

Martha Karua the Iron Lady

Martha Karua may be a lot of things to a lot of people but most importantly she is what one may say is an iron lady. Karua has always stood her ground in matters she believed in. She is a no-nonsense lady who even had the guts to oppose the late president Daniel Moi. Karua and Raila fervently fought for the ‘second liberation’ in pursuit of multipartyism in the early nineties. She is the kind of lady who will do what it takes to ensure that what is right is done and when she feels she doesn’t have the goodwill or power to do that, then she humbly resigns and leaves to fight from the outside. For Raila, this praise and character about Martha Karua are essential as it represents the kind of leader and female leader Kenyans want in power.

Martha Karua the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister

Martha Karua was once the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs. She is an advocate or lawyer by profession and has championed reforms in the justice system and most importantly, the formation and inauguration of the new constitution. As a matter of fact, when the new 2010 constitution was passed into law, Martha Karua was the then Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister. Her role in fighting for the rights of the people makes her very crucial to the leadership of this country at a time where court cases can take anywhere between 3 and 15 years. This trait is also another plus for her that makes her much more likely to be voted for by the Kenyan electorate.

The Duel is Set: Who Will Win the 2022 General Elections in Kenya?

The question of who will win the 2022 general elections in Kenya is as open as that of who will win the 2022 World Cup, which you can find out in Mania Sports by the way. We simply do not know who will win the general elections but we have an idea. On one side stands Raila and Martha Karua; they have government support and the support of the incumbent president and for whatever that stands for, may have an upper hand slightly over their opponents.

A Question of Experience versus Energy

Another thing that’s really going for the Azimio la Umoja team is that they have experience. They are averagely older, more experienced in politics, and have been in the government collectively longer than the other team. The Kenya Kwanza or UDA team on the other hand is young and energetic. They see themselves as the political disruptors the county needs. However, they are a scandalous and seemingly corrupt bunch. A good example is how they conduct their party nominations and as much as the Azimio team also incurred some complaints, the UDA team were far more skewed. All in all, maybe it doesn’t matter who wins but that we have peace and calm during the elections period and continue living our lives peacefully. Maybe that’s the true win and best outcome of any election in this country.