How Ruto used Wanjigi to fix Mudavadi
At the height of 2013 election campaign, William Ruto used businessman Jimi Wanjigi to scuttle a deal to make Musalia Mudavadi the presidential candidate instead of Uhuru Kenyatta.
Yesterday the Star learnt there had been several meetings between now-DP Ruto and Wanjigi at Wanjigi’s office on General Mathenge drive.
The Star asked Ruto’s office to clarify the DP's relationship with Wanjigi. His spokesman David Mugonyi promised to comment but had not done so by 7pm press time.
The Star also established that on December 4, 2012, Kenyatta, Ruto, Najib Balala and Chirau Ali Makwere drove to Mudavadi’s home along Riverside drive on short notice to discuss giving Mudavadi the presidential nomination.
Mudavadi has previously confirmed the meeting and attendees.
According to Mudavadi, the four leaders were unexpected and had called him saying they wanted a quick meeting. Ruto was driving, Kenyatta in the front passenger seat, with Makwere and Balala in the back.
On arrival, Kenyatta declared that since he and Ruto had a case to answer at the International Criminal Court, he was dropping out of the race and would instead back Mudavadi.
Mudavadi, who was a presidential candidate, was taken aback by the turn of events.
He asked how Uhuru planned to follow through with this plan. Uhuru said he would sign a memorandum of understanding with Mudavadi — and in return, Mudavadiwould will help Kenyatta with the ICC.
However, during the meeting at Mudavadi's home, Ruto maintained it did not matter who was the candidate, because all he wanted was to be the running mate of whoever got the presidential ticket.
Before the Mudavadi meeting, Ruto had struck a deal to become Kalonzo Musyoka’s running mate — in a separate meeting at the Wiper leader's residence in Karen a month earlier.
It was Wanjigi, who had brokered the initial deal between Kalonzo and Ruto, on the assumption Kenyatta was never going to run for President due to the ICC charges of crimes against humanity during the 2007-08 post-election violence.
But that arrangement came unstuck because it was scuttled by Kenyatta who later declared that he would go for the presidency at all cost.
It was at this point that Ruto and Wanjigi went into overdrive to ensure the new deal making Mudavadi the flagbearer and Ruto the running mate fell apart.
After signing the MoU, Uhuru declared he would take some rest in Dubai for 14 days and on returning he would hold a press conference to make the arrangement public.
At his behest, Wanjigi engineered a TNA Parliamentary Group meeting in which MPs from Central first denounced the deal. Wanjigi is said to have put pressure on Uhuru while in Dubai to disown the deal — which he did on arrival in Nairobi.
It was during this TNA Parliamentary Group meeting that pressure was put on Uhuru to dump the Mudavadi deal.
Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja has previously confirmed they organised this meeting without Uhuru's blessings and they insisted that he should run for President.
It was during the meeting that Uhuru famously said "Mashetani" had influenced him to sign the deal.
Once Kenyatta announced he had changed his mind and was firmly in the race, he and Ruto met Mudavadi at St Andrew’s Apartments along Rhapta road in Westlands days later.
Mudavadi asked whether the deal was on or off the table. Ruto again called in Wanjigi.
Wanjigi told Mudavadi that he could not be the presidential candidate because Luhyas were not cohesive enough and would not vote as a bloc — but Kalenjins and Kikuyus could be counted on to vote solidly.
He went on to tell him Kikuyus and Kalenjins "cannot give you the vote and the money to campaign" for the position at the same time. Mudavadi listened intently.
Ruto did not contribute much apart, from maintaining that he was the running mate.
Uhuru would interject to tell Wanjigi he was going overboard.
Wanjigi maintained that Uhuru and Ruto would be the line-up and Mudavadi should take the position of a minister in their Cabinet.
After the meeting, a disgusted Mudavadi walked out without saying a word. It was after that meeting that he went ahead to launch his presidential campaign.
In the meeting, Wanjigi said URP and TNA should maintain their identities and should not dissolve and merge into one party. The aim was to protect Ruto and his party on grounds that they were friends.
Speaking on the Sunday Live show on Citizen TV, Ruto asked NASA deputy presidential candidate Kalonzo Musyoka to explain to Kenyans the truth about what transpired the night that they met.
"As for the other details of this meeting, Kalonzo should know better. We did not engage Kalonzo after the said night because he told us a very weird thing," he said.
In his book Against All Odds, Kalonzo said he was betrayed by Kenyatta and Ruto after they arrived at his home with Wanjigi before the 2013 election.
"...that is a lot of nonsense. We did not introduce Wanjigi to Kalonzo. It is Wanjigi who introduced us to Kalonzo. He is the one who organised the meeting," Ruto said in the interview.
"He told us to allow him to become President, in any case, we will be in jail for 10 years," Ruto quoted Kalonzo as saying.
Uhuru and Ruto were facing charges at the ICC at the time and used it to their electoral advantage for the sympathy vote. The charges were dropped for lack of evidence.
Ruto said what Kalonzo told them was a turn-off and that they did not want to engage him further in their plans.
Yesterday Kalonzo told the Star that Ruto was dishonest.
"God will judge him," Kalonzo said.
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