Uhuru Kenyatta had settled for Eugene Wamalwa as his running mate in 2013 before Johnson Sakaja convinced him to pick William Ruto instead.
Details of how Sakaja convinced Uhuru to seek alliance with Ruto before the 2013 presidential election emerged during a recent interview.
Sakaja revealed how he convinced Uhuru to chose Ruto as his running mate during an interview on Churchill show on Sunday June 13th.
The Nairobi senator, at the tender age of 27, served as chairman of The National Alliance (TNA), a party President Kenyatta used to contest the presidency in 2013.
Ruto was also contesting for the presidency in 2013 through the United Republican Party (URP), which later joined forces with TNA to front a single presidential candidate.
Sakaja said Uhuru had picked Eugene Wamalwa as his running mate ahead of the 2013 presidential election before he convinced him to pick Ruto instead.
Sakaja argued his point to Uhuru despite criticisms from insiders who couldn’t stomach Uhuru/Ruto ticket.
“I remember at one time we went to Naivasha and I made a presentation to the politicians in TNA and stressed the fact that for us to win the elections we had to garner at least 60% (of the votes cast) in Rift Valley. Some people dismissed me. But Uhuru who was the Deputy Prime Minister at the time, called me in the evening and told me hebu nionyeshe hio kitu tena (please show me that presentation again),” said Sakaja.
“At that time Eugene Wamalwa was supposed to be the running mate. I told him we need William. I appreciate that fact because regardless of what everyone says, President Kenyatta and his Deputy were sincere about creating peace in this country.”
The Uhuru/Ruto ticket won the 2013 and 2017 presidential elections before they split following the 9th March 2018 handshake.
Raila Odinga boycotted the 2017 election which Uhuru won unchallenged. Uhuru and Raila later sought an alliance and Ruto was left out.
The 2013 deal between Uhuru and Ruto was that the former was supposed to support the latter for two terms and then Uhuru reciprocates to support Ruto’s presidential bid for two terms from 2022.
President Uhuru however recently said he would endorse a presidential candidate from the former Nasa coalition that includes Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Wetangula and now Gideon Moi.