Kenya: Waiguru Gets Presidential Running Mate Job Offers

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru says she has received offers to be presidential running mate from two parties ahead of the 2022 polls.

The first time governor says she is considering the offers and will make an announcement at an appropriate time.

"I have at least two offers for the deputy president position, but it is not the right time to name the parties," she said in an exclusive interview with the Nation.

Ms Waiguru said she believes the Jubilee Party will still form the next government and sees herself playing a critical role in the populous Mt Kenya region to make this happen.

Deputy President William Ruto is currently seen as the front runner in Jubilee and the likely candidate for the party.

CENTRAL INTERESTS

There is also another splinter group that wants to stop the Deputy President and is likely to either team up with the Opposition party or form a third alliance to wrestle Mr Ruto out of the presidency.

Ms Waiguru, the Council of Governors vice chairperson, said the Mt Kenya region will have to ensure that it gets its rightful share of development in the next government, and that is what her role will be when President Uhuru Kenyatta's succession race starts in earnest.

"I see my role as making sure the 10 counties that make up the Mt Kenya region get their rightful place in the next government. We do not want a boardroom appointee to lead the region, but rather a person who is the choice of the people," she said.

She distanced herself from a group that says the region is not getting its share of development projects, saying those are views of a few people.

She said that inasmuch as there are policy issues that need to be dealt with to make sure the region is not disenfranchised, it is getting significant investments relative to constraints in the national budget.

REFERENDUM

On the referendum matter, she noted its necessity because the presidency and counties have failed to tackle the issue on the need for proper representation. "The referendum should resolve the national leadership issues. We thought that the presidential system would resolve the issues of representation but this has not happened.

"That is why there is need for expansion of space at the top to make people feel represented," she said.

She said counties would be pushing for an increase of allocation of resources from the current 15 per cent to at least 40 per cent of the most recent audited accounts of the national budget.

She said the plan will be to cap it to not more than one year so as to deal with current issue where counties have been cheated out of their actual share by using financial statements dated more than three years ago.

CONTESTANTS

A number of Mt Kenya leaders have been angling to vie for the presidency or to be running mates in 2022 after President Kenyatta's term ends.

The region also produced founding President Jomo Kenyatta and retired President Mwai Kibaki.

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has announced that he would seek the top seat in 2022. Others seeking to control the region's votes are former presidential contender Peter Kenneth, Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and former Kiambu governor William Kabogo.

Former Ol Jororok MP JM Waiganjo, who is also a Nairobi based lawyer, said that apart from President Kenyatta, the region lacks a leader with national appeal.

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