Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale says the decision on who is going to deputize Deputy President William Ruto in his August presidential bid within the Kenya Kwanza Alliance is a closed chapter.

Khalwale says the alliance, which comprises close to 15 parties among them the DP Ruto-led United Democratic Alliance (UDA), ANC, Ford Kenya and Maendeleo Chap Chap, among others, has already settled on a candidate.

He further claimed that their rivals in the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition party had also settled on a running mate but were just passing time through vetting exercises.

“A decision on the running mate in the Kenya Kwanza side and Azimio side has already been made. In Azimio, the decision has been made but they are going through drama,” Khalwale told Citizen TV’s Trevor Ombija during Wednesday’s Day Break show.

“If, for argument’s sake, Azimio have not made a decision on who is going to be their running mate, then they are not prepared to go into this election.”He however did not reveal who the running mate is, only insisting that it was Ruto’s responsibility to make the pronouncement.

The former senator who is seeking a re-entry into the Senate on a UDA ticket after shelving his gubernatorial bid added: “Before I pulled out of the gubernatorial race, I had already made a decision on my running mate. It is something that you must do way in advance for planning purposes.”

According to Khalwale, the Azimio running-mate vetting exercise is just a sideshow because the camp’s flag-bearer Raila Odinga is under immense pressure from within the outfit on who to select as deputy.

“On the Kenya Kwanza side, a decision has been made but we don’t want drama because we are not under pressure. Nobody is putting the Deputy President under any pressure,” said Khalwale. 

“We are not foolish people not to have reflected on who would be an attractive running-mate. The Deputy President is about to announce and he hinted about it recently.”

Presidential candidates have until May 16 to submit their running mates to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Although the Kenya Kwanza Alliance has not held a publicized search for a running-mate, their Azimio rivals appointed a 7-member selection panel to vet candidates.

Potential deputies in an Odinga administration met the panel from Wednesday, May 4 to Tuesday, May 10, and Odinga is expected to unveil the successful candidate to the public ahead of the deadline.

Citizen Digital

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