Susan Kihika gets new role in William Ruto's 2022 presidential bid
Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika is expected to play a key role in Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid. Ms Kihika has been popularising United Democratic Alliance (UDA) at the grassroots in Nakuru.
She was one of the MPs who campaigned to ensure United Democratic Alliance candidate Anthony Nzuki won the London Ward by-election.
Interestingly, another key ally of DP in the region Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, who voted Yes for the BBI Bill, faces rebellion in UDA and is likely to find himself in the soup in the DP camp in Nakuru County.
However, the outspoken legislator said his vote for BBI Bill did not amount to betrayal.
And to affirm his loyalty, a day after voting Yes, he issued UDA party registration booklets to Evans Korir on behalf of Bomet Governor Hilary Barchok in his constituency.
"The books will boost the ongoing process of UDA membership registration in Bomet County," said Mr Ngunjiri.
However, this gesture was met with a lot of criticism with UDA supporters dismissing him as a "traitor".
It would be interesting to see how Mr Ngunjiri will navigate his political way in the UDA campaigns as his loyalty to the DP has now been dampened by voting for the BBI Bill.
Ms Kihika, who rejected BBI from the onset, is now expected to be a key strategist for UDA in Nakuru region, having won Dr Ruto’s trust according to sources at the DP strategy camp.
“The constitutional amendment process was flawed and unconstitutional," said Ms Kihika while rejecting the BBI Bill at the Senate.
Ms Kihika has already constituted an interim UDA Nakuru County coordination team comprising her supporters, former MCAs and influential businessmen who bankrolled Jubilee in the last two elections in the region.
The coordination team, which is led by Mr Bernard Gitau Kimani, has only one woman coordinator out of the 11 constituencies.
Other UDA coordinators in the 11 constituencies include Mr Anthony Kamau Ng'ang'a (Naivasha), Mr Paul Kibet Chebor (Rongai), Mr Joseph Mwangi Njeru (Gilgil), Mr John Kamau Muchai (Subukia), Mr Wesley Kipkemoi Ruttoh (Kuresoi North), Mr John Bosco Wagacha ((Bahati), Mr Anthony Maina Ngari (Nakuru Town East), Mr John Lang'at (Kuresoi South), businessman Zakayo Maina (Nakuru West), Mr Benjamin Kibet Kirui (Njoro) and Ms Grace Karanja (Molo).
Hosted 50 politicians
The former Nakuru County Assembly Speaker’s role in DP Ruto's 2022 presidential bid was evident a day after the BBI Bill was endorsed by the Senate.
She is reported to have hosted a delegation of 50 politicians and supporters of Dr Ruto from the Mt Kenya region at her Karen residence in Nairobi.
Mr Ngunjiri has severed his relationship with Ms Kihika. He recently said that he would not support Senator Kihika for the Nakuru County gubernatorial seat in 2022.
"I want to be honest. I have been supporting Susan Kihika but I have decided to withdraw my support to her because it is only a fool who cannot change," said Mr Ngunjiri.
He added: "I saw the direction she is taking and I thought it would be messy if she is elected as the governor of Nakuru. I don't want to be associated with her. Count me out of her support team."
Although he is yet to go public on his support for the next governor of Nakuru in 2022, Mr Ngunjiri might be warming up to support Governor Lee Kinyanjui.