Nairobi — Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana says he is still in the 2022 presidential race, despite reports that he has endorsed Deputy President William Ruto's candidature.
Kibwana has further rubbished claims that he has been meeting his colleague governors from Machakos and Kitui in closed-door meetings, meant to sway the Kamba vote for their selfish ends.
Governor Kibwana said that the only meetings he has attended have to do with development of the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc.
"For avoidance of doubt, Governor Kibwana has never attended any closed-door meetings with colleagues from Ukambani to discuss politics. The meetings he attended with Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) are open and held in public places," Edward Mwendwa, Kibwana's Press Director told Capital FM News on Tuesday.
Kibwana, who earlier this month publicly announced his desire to run for the top seat, said it wasn't practical that he is rooting for another candidate, yet he is the race.
"Governor Kibwana has never endorsed Ruto's candidature, if anything he already announced that he will offer himself for presidential elections in 2022, this he is doing in his own volition," said Mwendwa.
During a recent Turkana cultural festival attended by various political leaders including the Deputy President, Kibwana said Ruto is a political force to reckon with and that he shouldn't be underestimated.
Kibwana's positive comments about the DP came barely a month after he quit the Wiper Party, giving rise to speculation that he is indeed rooting for DP Ruto's bid.
"One thing that I know is that any politician or Kenyan who thinks that you (Ruto) can be taken for granted, or who thinks that you don't matter they are wrong, and am saying this boldly because am a constitutional lawyer, a political analyst and also a politician," said Kibwana during last Friday's event.
Kibwana's quest to run for the Presidency came after a fierce online campaign was launched by Kenyan citizens asking him not to retire from politics when he completes his term as governor.
Kenyans launched the campaign on grounds that Kibwana's development record is commendable and that he is now ready to take on the top seat.