Africa-Press – Kenya. United Democratic Alliance presidential running mate, Rigathi Gachagua, has dispelled the rise of splinter groups within the party as nothing but sibling rivalry.
Gachagua noted that the divisions emerged days after the party’s presidential flag bearer, deputy president William Ruto, picked him as his running mate, despite Tharaka Nithi Senator, Kithure Kindiki, being one of the frontrunners.
In an interview on Inooro FM on Tuesday, May 24, Gachagua nonetheless, denied claims that his personality necessitated the squabbles within the party and insisted that he was not a dictator as accused.
He further denied claims that his candidature would pose a challenge to Ruto’s presidential bid.
“I have served the people of Mathira as their MP and no one has ever complained. The issue with other politicians can only be described as sibling rivalry. I am not an abrasive person but I am firm and actually a good listener,” the lawmaker defended his personality.
He further explained that the choice of the DP was Ruto’s decision and that he emerged as the winner given his relationship with the UDA presidential candidate.
“It is a personal decision by the presidential aspirant as he sought someone well known, compatible, who shares the same ideals, with proven value for friendship. That is how I defeated them,” he stated.
In regards to differences between Mt Kenya parties over UDA’s six-piece stand in the region, the legislator stated that they had invested heavily in the campaigns, a strategy other parties within the Kenya Kwanza alliance needed to emulate.
“You do not expect to come to a political rally organised by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), where our aspirants have spent money to mobilise attendance, and expect to be well embraced.”
Gachagua made the statements in response to sentiments made by Nyandarua gubernatorial aspirant, Waithaka Kirika Mwangi of The Service Party (TSP) who criticised him for urging residents to employ six-piece voting for UDA candidates in the August polls.
Speaking at an interview on Citizen TV on May 17, Kindiki concurred with Gachagua, noting that despite disclosed winning the electoral college vote, the DP settled on the Mathira lawmaker as running mate.
At the time, insiders disclosed that many leaders from the vote-rich region preferred Kindiki to Gachagua because of his calm nature.
“In the polls that were carried out by the party, it is true that I emerged the winner. The opinion polls were carried out in 10 areas in the Mt Kenya region and all over the country.
“I also emerged top of the electoral college vote but there were other considerations. The selection of a running mate is also a personal issue and he had so many issues which he considered and settled on Gachagua,” Kindiki stated then