BY Isaack Nyakundi
The Eldoret North MP William Ruto and his Gatundu counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta will contest the presidency on a joint ticket; the pre-election coalition deal that is yet to be made public is likely to feature Kenyatta as presidential candidate with Ruto as his running mate.
Mr. Kenyattaâ€™s spokesman Munyori Buku said that the deal will be unveiled on Sunday, at a rally to be held at the Afraha Open Grounds in Nakuru at 2pm.
“The two leaders have agreed on an alliance whose goals will be national unity, prosperity for all Kenyans, reconciliation and offers a definite and clear roadmap of making Kenya an economic powerhouse in the region, Africa and the world in the next decade,â€ Mr. Buku said in a statement Tuesday.
Mr. Buku said a team from the two parties- The National Alliance (TNA) and the United Republican Party (URP) – is working on the programme and plans for the Sunday rally which will include two caravans – one starting at Kinungi near Naivasha and the other at Kuresoi â€“ that will converge in Nakuru.
â€œMany other like-minded party leaders, MPs, aspirants for various seats, councillors and religious, business, women, youth, cooperatives, union, farmers and civil society leaders have been invited and will be present,â€ Mr. Buku said.
The investments made on the two entities and their respective support base certainly dictates that the parties will remain independent but have a common name and symbol for their joint presidential ticket.
Once signed the deal will reflect the wishes of William Ruto who wanted the 2013 elections to be pegged on the ICC trials (the 2013 elections will be a referendum on the Hague trials) due to start in April 2013.
The two parties have a strong following in Rift Valley and Central province, of interest will be how the parties will field aspirants in neutral and cosmopolitan areas of Nakuru, Nairobi, Kisii, Kajiado, Meru, parts of Coast and North Eastern Province where both parties claim supremacy over the other.
The signing of the deal will mean that Charity Ngilu, Eugene Wamalwa and Kiraitu Murungi have been left in high seas and will have no choice but sail banking their fate on the two principals.
The Uhuru Ruto ticket is likely to be hurt by the ICC trials given the practical requirements of physical presence of the suspects in court; this is what ODM and other parties will most like use as reasons why the ticket should not be voted.
It will take deep passion and extreme loyalty for Kenyans to vote for the ticket given the impractical of execution of the presidential mandate if the ticket wins in the upcoming elections and also the threat of economic sanctions by the countryâ€™s major trade partners.
The question among Kenyans will be whether the ticket will be voted on issues or it is just a referendum on the Hague trials as Ruto indicated several weeks ago.
The issue of zoning the country to voting blocs is a big step backward given the desire of Kenyans to be united as we gear to engage on a political union of the East Africa region.