Why Richard Ngatia Lost KNCCI Presidency To Dr Erick Ruto

By The Weekly Vision

Less than a month after the former President of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry Richard Ngatia suffered a devastating defeat by his deputy Dr Erick Ruto, fresh details have emerged indicating the behind the scene deals by his opponent at the eleventh hour to deny him victory. Mr Ngatia was seen as a front runner initially, having gained support across the political divide, however, barely 24 hours before the elections, high-level consultations from political bigwigs pulled the rag from his feet. 

Mr Ngatia’s political affiliation to Azimio la Umoja Coalition cost him the seat, although he had publicly declared his defection to Kenya Kwanza before the election. His political ties with former President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga also contributed to his shocking defeat. In the initial stages of campaigns, Mr Ngatia was seen as the State’s choice for the influential seat after he won the hearts of many top Kenya Kwanza leaders.

Sources told The Weekly Vision that it is Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua who was not comfortable with Mr Ngatia retaining the Chamber presidency, he allegedly lobbied for his deputy Dr Ruto.  The Chamber campaigns, according to well-placed sources almost split Kenya Kwanza down the middle with a section of the party’s top leaders supporting Mr Ngatia while others openly endorsed Dr Ruto.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and National Assembly Speaker openly endorsed Mr Ngatia same as Council of Governors chairperson Anne Waiguru. Governors including Ken Lusaka of Bungoma and Wilber Ottichilo of Vihiga and Kajiado’s Joseph Lenku had also thrown their weight behind his re-election. Trade CS Moses Kuria was the first to endorse Ngatia’s re-election bid.

It is not however known how the DP came out at the eleventh hour to convince top political players to abandon Mr Ngatia and support his deputy for the top seat. The DP is said to have told his confidantes that anyone with solid links to Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga is not welcome.

During the campaigns, Mr Ngatia was seen as the most preferred candidate after he received overwhelming support from delegates from five counties in the Mt Kenya region, 14 counties in the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) and Metropolitan areas of Nairobi, Narok and Kajiado. Sources close to the DP said he believed that Mr Ngatia still had Azimio links and could not be trusted with the top seat. Ngatia ascended into KNCCI’s main seat unopposed in 2019, he was seeking re-election with Abdulwalli Shariff as his running mate.  In the elections, Dr Ruto bagged the top position after garnering 291 votes against 208 for Mr Richard Ngatia, Dr Ruto will be deputized by Mustapha Ramadhan.

Leave a Reply