Ruto defends Kalonzo over Azimio running mate ‘interview’
Deputy President William Ruto has come out to defend Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka over a "humiliating interview" for the position of a running mate in the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Coalition.
In a post on his social media accounts on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Ruto termed the planned interview as impunity and political deceit.
"Though we are competitors, to subject HE Kalonzo to some humiliating 'interview' is impunity. We must unite to eliminate the culture of political deceit, the hallmark of some politicians. Whatever the circumstances, every leader deserves some dignity and respect. Heshima si utumwa," Ruto wrote.
This comes hours after Kalonzo announced publicly that he was not going to attend the interviews organised by Azimio to search for a suitable running mate for Raila Odinga.
“I want to tell all Kenyans that I will not attend the said process. I find the entire thing demeaning to my person and will therefore distance myself from it,” Kalonzo said.
Kalonzo has been angling for the position terming himself as the best-suited candidate amongst his competitors, who include NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua, Kitui governor Charity Ngilu, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, and Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.
Last week, Azimio formed a seven-member committee that would interview candidates wishing to deputise Raila in case he wins the August 9 polls.
The committee includes Bishop Peter Njenga, Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Senator Enoch Wambua, Michael Orwa, Dr. Noah Wekesa, Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, and Beatrice Askul Moe.
MPs allied to Kalonzo have already declared that they will not allow him to attend the interviews which starts today, terming the process as demeaning.
"Our position as the followers of the Wiper Party, the third leg of Azimio-One Kenya is that the Hon Kalonzo Musyoka should not apply to the committee that was set up to interview for the position of the deputy president of Azimio-One Kenya," Makueni Member of Parliament Daniel Maanzo said.
Maanzo said the first and only qualification of a running mate is the number of votes he is bringing to the table.
Presidential candidates are expected to submit the names of their running mates to IEBC by May 16.