DP Ruto gets key campaigner five years to 2022 general election
Is Football Kenya Federation president Nick Mwendwa planning to marshal the local football fraternity to support Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid?
This is the suggestion doing rounds on social media, in the wake of the Deputy President’s sudden interest in the men’s national football team.
During a breakfast meeting meant to celebrate the Harambee Stars victory at the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup at the DP’s Karen residence on Tuesday, Mr Mwendwa himself fell short of endorsing Mr Ruto for the top seat.
‘WHO WILL WIN’
“You all know there will be an election in 2022 and we know who will win that particular exercise,” the youthful football administrator told the gathering, which included a beaming DP, Sports CS Hassan Wario, PS Kirimi Kaberia, Harambee Stars players and journalists.
Mr Ruto has declared that he intends to take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta when the latter’s reign ends in August 2022.
The rapport between the DP and Mr Mwendwa is, however, not a secret.
The DP reportedly played a key role in the election of Mr Mwendwa as FKF chairman.
The two are said to be close buddies, with their camaraderie going beyond football matters –into business interests.
INTEREST IN FOOTBALL
Mr Ruto’s interest in football was underlined when he attended the Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup final in Machakos where Kenya beat Zanzibar in post-match penalties.
The DP later donated Sh15 million to the team, which included a Sh10 million from President Kenyatta.
He also promised to award the team an executive customised bus and a further Sh50 million should the team secure qualification to the 2019 Africa Nations Cup in Cameroon.
“Kindly gotea me guys, but that doesn’t mean you should resist. No resist please,” Mr Ruto told Harambee Stars with a chuckle, in reference to the political terminology mostly associated with the opposition coalition NASA.
Football boasts a huge following in Kenya, estimated to include upto 12 million adults.