President Uhuru Kenyatta had picked Eugene Wamalwa as his running mate ahead of the 2013 general elections but had to instead settle on William Ruto so as to enhance his chances of winning the presidency.
This revelation was made by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja, during an interview on Churchill show, aired weekly on NTV, on Sunday evening.
At the tender age of 27, Sakaja served as chairman of The National Alliance (TNA), a party President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto successfully used to contest the presidency in 2013.
Kenya’s constitution dictates that a presidential candidate must unveil a joint ticket with his Deputy before the polls. The Presidential candidate and his Deputy also appear together on the ballot paper.
“I remember at one time we went to Naivasha and I made a presentation to the politicians in TNA and stressed the fact that for us to win the elections (in 2013) we had to garner at least 60% (of the votes cast) in Rift Valley,” said Sakaja.
“Some people dismissed me. But Uhuru who was the Deputy Prime Minister at the time, called me in the evening and told me hebu nionyeshe hio kitu tena (please show me that presentation again).”
“At that time Eugene Wamalwa was supposed to be the running mate. I told him we need William (Ruto). I appreciate that fact because regardless of what everyone says, President Kenyatta and his Deputy were sincere about creating peace in this country.”
President Kenyatta and DP Ruto went on to defeat the joint Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka ticket by more than 800,000 votes in the hotly contested elections.
The President and his Deputy have since appeared to suffer a political outfit leading to a bitter exchange between the duo in public and an admission by the DP that he is considering dumping the ruling Jubilee party so as to contest the presidency on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket in 2022.
Now 36, Sakaja, who commenced his political career as a driver and personal assistant (PA) to Richard Ngatia during the Kibaki regime has since served as a nominated MP between 2013 and 2017 but was elected Senator in 2017.
He is rumoured to be eyeing the Nairobi gubernatorial seat in 2022 but has revealed he also has his eyes on the presidency in the future.
Wamalwa meanwhile, has served as Minister for Water and Devolution in President Kenyatta’s cabinet.