Big blow to deputy president William Ruto. Kenya Kwanza candidate George Kithi has raised political eyebrows after he, on Monday, June 6, shared a photo of his campaign billboard bearing Azimio flagbearer Raila Odinga’s branding messages.
Kithi’s, who is running for the Kilifi County gubernatorial seat under the Pamoja African Alliance (PAA), puzzled Kenyans who wondered where his political allegiance stood.
The candidate who was cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) held a campaign with his entourage stopping just below his billboard in Kilifi town.
On the campaign material was Raila’s iconic letter ‘R’, accompanied by the slogan ‘Inawezekana’ – a clear endorsement of the candidate for presidency and him for governor.
With his party leader, Amason Kingi joining the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, Kithi’s post would have been politically correct if the billboard had a photo of him and Ruto, the coalition’s presidential candidate.
“Are you still in Azimio? The billboard says so,” a supporter, Richard Gona, wondered.
Amid the impromptu exit by PAA from Azimio to Kenya Kwanza and the expenses of mounting a billboard, some of Kithi’s supporters opined that there was probably not much to read into.
However, the political sibling rivalry witnessed between the PAA candidate and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who is seeking to succeed Kingi on a UDA ticket, could give a different notion.
Kithi was cleared despite Jumwa claiming that Ruto had brokered a deal that would see the lawyer step down and get appointed to the national government in the Kenya Kwanza regime.
The DP had also endorsed his outspoken coastal ally – in a meeting that was attended by Kithi, who has insisted that he would be in the race till the end.
The lawyer had earlier gained national attention after he accused senior UDA officials of plotting his humiliation after he was pulled off the main podium at the DP’s Karen residence during Kingi’s unveiling into Kenya Kwanza.
Some political observers also wondered if the photo incident may have been related to Kingi’s conspicuous absence at the Bomas of Kenya on Saturday, June 4, when Ruto presented his presidential nomination papers in the company of the Kenya Kwanza principals.