How The 2027 Political Dynamics Have Left President Ruto In a Catch-22 Situation

By The Weekly Vision Team

With the 2027 general elections just a little over two years away, politicians in President William Ruto’s UDA party are already behaving as if the official campaign period has already been declared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua facing a situation similar to what his boss, President William Ruto, went through as deputy to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

While the president may outwardly project confidence publicly in the rapport of his deputy, the underlying truth is that William Ruto is genuinely troubled. The divergent path taken by his deputy and allies has left the president feeling apprehensive. Sources have hinted to The Weekly Vision that President Ruto is actively building a team that will drive his re-election campaign, with a strategic focus on three key scenarios.

Scenario one involves retaining Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate in the next elections. Scenario Two centres on the outcome of Raila Odinga’s bid for the African Union chairmanship. Scenario Three explores the potential of his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, collaborating with former President Uhuru Kenyatta to sponsor a candidate against him. Speculations are already in circulation to the effect that the president could potentially drop Mr Gachagua as his running mate in 2027, a decision that has already been labelled as risky by political analysts. Nevertheless, the same experts suggest that to maintain the support of the Mount Kenya region, the president may need to choose a different mate, not Gachagua but from the same region, as a replacement. 

Prof. Kithure Kindiki, who narrowly missed out on being picked as the running mate in the last general elections, is now being mentioned as a potential replacement for Mr Gachagua; he also hails from the same mountain region. Statistically, dropping Mr Gachagua for Prof. Kindiki as running mate may result in President Ruto losing many votes in the Mount Kenya West region, especially in counties like Kiambu, Muranga, Nyandarua, Kirinyaga, Laikipia, Nyeri, and Nakuru.

The possibility of Ruto choosing Ndindi Nyoro as his running mate in 2027 has been a topic of discussion for a while now. It is intriguing to note that DP Gachagua and his supporters have effectively painted Mr Nyoro in a bad light, claiming he is an opponent of the community by allegedly standing against a unified call for equal representation and the allocation of resources narrative of one man, one vote, and one shilling.

President Ruto is fully cognizant of the fact that should he abandon Mr Gachagua, the Mount Kenya region may have one of its own as a presidential candidate in 2027. Mr. Gachagua will likely be the candidate. If President Ruto picks Musalia Mudavadi as a running mate, the move could guarantee him over 80% of the Luhya votes. However, if Raila Odinga is on the ballot in 2027, he might turn the tables on President Ruto’s team.

Despite this, William Ruto has been cautioned of the potential consequences of picking Mudavadi as his running mate in 2027, with questions emerging over whether Mudavadi can secure enough votes for him with Raila Odinga also in the competition since the Luhya community continues to show strong support for Mr Odinga. This suggests that history may repeat itself in the upcoming election. As a result, it is likely that both the Western and Mount Kenya regions will not be part of Ruto’s plans. 

Analysts have pointed out that in the scenario where Mudavadi is chosen as William Ruto’s running mate, Mr Odinga would still manage to secure the majority of Luhya votes. On the contrary, if Raila does not run and Ruto decides to have Mudavadi as his running mate, with the support of Raila, Ruto could potentially win over 85% of both Luo and Luhya votes.

However, if Raila chooses to participate in the election, then Ruto’s decision to have Mudavadi as his running mate in 2027 would be a grave miscalculation. If Gachagua decides to compete against Ruto, it is crucial for him to carefully choose a running mate who can attract a substantial voter base, estimated to be around one million. According to analysts, this approach would greatly enhance Gachagua’s chances of success. 

In such a scenario, Gachagua will be number one in the first round but won’t meet the 50-plus-one threshold, and there will be a run-off. There are speculations that Gachagua could pick the Trans Noida governor of the famous Tawe Movement.

What if Ruto picks Mudavadi and Gachagua picks Natembeya? They will split the Luhya votes. Therefore, Natembeya can bring one million votes to Gachagua to defeat Ruto in the first round. There is also a narrative that the DP could get a running mate from the coastal region and pick former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, which might also give Ruto a run for his money.

What if Gachagua pulls out of UDA and decides not to run in 2027? The narrative being peddled in this scenario is for the DP to consolidate Mount Kenya and then support a candidate from outside the mountain. The name that has featured prominently in this scenario is Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka. With Kalonzo as the presidential candidate and Gachagua as the running mate, this scenario is most likely to send Ruto home in the first round.

In another scenario where Ruto, Kalonzo, and Gachagua are on the ballot, who is most likely to win? In this scenario, whoever gets the blessings and support of Raila will emerge victorious.

Analysts agree that there are only two people who will decide who becomes president in 2027: Raila and Gachagua. If Raila decides to consolidate Luo, Luhya, and Kisii and deliver them to Ruto, then Ruto will win in the first round. However, if Gachagua decides to stick with Ruto in 2027 and convince the mountain to vote for Ruto, then Ruto will once again win in the first round.