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Nitaongea na Riggy G! Ruto hints at picking woman DP in 2027

President William Ruto has suggested he will pick a woman as his running mate in the 2027 polls.

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, 2024.

The meeting seeks to empower women to occupy more political positions in line with Kenyan law.

“We must as a party lead from the front (in empowering women),” said President Ruto, who is the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party leader.

“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.”

“I invite you to collaborate with us to break down all barriers to women’s political participation, counter negative gender stereotypes, and chip away at social norms that block women from participating across a huge range of sectors.”

President Ruto’s comments are certain to open up debate on the political space considering his current Deputy Rigathi Gachagua qualifies to vie for a second term in the 2027 polls.

The DP stood against all odds, including ditching his friend former president Uhuru Kenyatta, to support Ruto in the run-up to the 2022 polls.

This includes what the second in command described as profiling by the previous government, in which he was arrested and charged with economic crimes. The charges have since been dropped.

Incidentally, the Ruto-Gachagua partnership defeated a coalition that included a woman, that of Raila Odinga and Martha Karua, to clinch the presidency.

At the same time, Gachagua clinched the opportunity to become President Ruto’s running mate despite stiff opposition from Kithure Kindiki (now serving as Interior Cabinet Secretary) and Musalia Mudavadi (now Prime Cabinet Secretary).

In recent times, there have been reports that Kindiki, Mudavadi, and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro are considered as possible running mates to President Ruto in 2027, at the expense of Mr Gachagua.

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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