The alleged pact between President William Ruto and Western region leaders to support one of their own in the 2032 election is causing potential division within the ruling party.
The discussions about the 2032 succession, initiated by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, are met with mixed reactions within the ruling alliance. Some leaders believe it’s too early to be discussing President Ruto’s succession, given that he has been in office for only a year, while others view Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua as the likely successor to Ruto in the 2032 election.
“We encouraged our constituents to support William Ruto because we believed he would bring development to our region and because he holds the key to a Luhya president. We anticipate this happening by 2032,” said Dr. Khalwale.
According to the Daily Nation Newspaper, Dr. Khalwale’s statement has the potential to exacerbate the existing tensions between Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, both of whom are considered potential successors to President Ruto.
Mr. Wamumbi, who represents Deputy President Gachagua, emphasized that while discussions about the 2032 election can take place, they should be coupled with considerations of how much support and investment will be contributed in the 2027 period.
He pointed out that the Deputy President is focused on leading and serving economically empowered individuals, making service delivery to the people a top priority before delving into election-related matters.
“The Deputy President has said that he has no business leading economically unempowered people and that’s why we are focusing on service delivery to the people first before issues of election can come in,” the MP told Nation.
There appears to be regional preferences emerging, with Western Kenya leaders favoring Mr. Mudavadi as President Ruto’s potential successor in 2032, while the Mt. Kenya region is leaning toward Deputy President Gachagua.
Dr. Khalwale also mentioned that the president has already selected a team to assist him in consolidating his influence in the Western region for the 2027 election, with the long-term goal of positioning the region to succeed him in 2032.
Nandi Senator Samson Cheragei and Mathira MP Eric Wamumbi’s rejection of Dr. Khalwale’s remarks underscores their belief that the president’s focus should remain on his current term, particularly in terms of revitalizing the country’s economy and fulfilling campaign promises.
They argued that delving into succession politics at this early stage could divert attention from these crucial responsibilities. Mr. Cherargei emphasized the importance of allowing President Ruto the opportunity to deliver on his agenda before discussing succession matters.
According to the senator, the key to Kenya Kwanza’s success in future elections lies in its ability to deliver meaningful results to the people, rather than engaging in speculative discussions and superficial talk.
Mr Wamumbi cautioned that leaders should not focus on the “next election but next generation,” through proper service delivery.
“2032 is quite too far to focus on and as leaders from Mt Kenya we are concerned with economic empowerment of our people, how to increase our roads in terms of kilometres tarmacked and how we can revive the economy,” the Mathira MP
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