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Gachagua responds to Ruto’s proposal on woman DP

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua insists President William Ruto has no plans to drop him in 2027.

The DP spoke in Embu on International Women’s Day, a day after President Ruto suggested his United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party, which he is the party leader, will consider nominating a woman candidate for the presidential running mate slot in future elections, or vice versa.

The statement was interpreted by analysts to suggest President Ruto could pick a woman DP, at Gachagua’s expense, ahead of the 2027 polls.

Said Gachagua: “Some of you did not understand the President when he talked about consulting me on how to incorporate women (for the President/Deputy President positions. They thought he (President) was referring to 2027. You will have to wait for me to finish helping out the President to complete his term so that we now include women in that plan.”

Earlier, President Ruto, who failed to keep his promise in appointing women to half of his Cabinet, had stressed that his government will ‘lead from the front in empowering women’.

The Head of State made the comments during the launch of the G7 strategy meeting for the Council of Governors (COG) Women Governors Caucus in Nairobi on March 7.

The meeting sought to empower women into occupying more political positions in line with the Kenyan law.

“We must as a party lead from the front (in empowering women),” said Ruto.

“Which is why Cecil Mbarire is our (UDA) party leader. It is not by default. We must make it in the rules that we will reach at some point with Riggy G (Rigathi Gachagua) and agree that going forward if a man is a candidate for president in the party (UDA), then the woman must be the running mate, and vice versa.”

Gachagua has had a battle in his hands to win and retain the Deputy President’s job.
In the run up to the 2022 presidential elections, Gachagua, the former Mathira lawmaker, had to wrestle the DP’s role from close competitors including Kithure Kindiki, Anne Waiguru, Musalia Mudavadi and Justin Muturi.

And in recent times, Gachagua has had to live with suggestions that the like of Mudavadi and Kiharu lawmaker Ndindi Nyoro as his replacement ahead of the 2027 polls.

Kenya has never had a women President or Deputy, with critics arguing that the country is lagging behind her neighbours on the women empowerment front.

Tanzania currently has Samia Suluhu, a woman, as President while Uganda has Jessica Alupo and Robinah Nabbanja, both women as vice president and Prime Minister respectively.

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