Uhuru headache over Ruto presidency in 2022
By Blamuel Njururi – Nairobi, July 9, 2016
Uhuru’s rating up in new survey but a divided Cord says results were ‘doctored’
Kenyan leaders have a rare gift of expertise in diversionary politics to attract attention, ward off pressing domestic and internal party squabbles or just to send Kenyans on wild goose chase.
With just about a year to the General Election in which President Uhuru Kenyatta will be seeking a second term in August 2017, some politicians have found it very appropriate to be fortune tellers competent to forecast the 2022 Presidential election and Deputy President William Ruto’s Kikuyu support or lack of it. The issue however portends a serious headache for Uhuru if it were spin out of control.
Kiambu Governor, who claims namesake status with deputy president, William Kabogo, started the wild goose chase a year and five months ahead of 2022 elections by claiming that Ruto will not enjoy Central Kenya support in his bid for presidency then. Kabogo has no credentials as a seer or fortuneteller but has been under political siege by stone-throwing specialist and Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu alias Baba yao alias Clifford.
Baba yao was the MP for Embakasi in Nairobi but moved to Kiambu after losing the City’s gubernatorial contest to Evans Kidero but now plans to oust Kabogo come 2022. It is not surprising that Kabogo calculated the best way to attract Ruto’s attention was to cite central Kenya vote presidential uncertainty and to some extent he succeeded. Ruto would some weeks later embrace Kabogo as a political advisor that he had to seek the central Kenya vote in 2022.
Ruto embracing Kabogo
Then a nominated Senator Paul Njoroge jumped on the 2022 bandwagon to warn Ruto that his support by Central Kenya was not guaranteed. This earned him the ire of electorate in Naivasha who proceeded to burn an effigy of him as well as ban him from conducting any activities in Nakuru and the Central Kenya region. Residents of Naivasha led by several MCAs burnt an effigy of Njoroge following his remarks concerning Ruto come 2022. Njoroge is in the Senate courtesy of the Judiciary after disputing the nomination of Linet Kemunto. Njoroge has henceforth kissed bye bye to Senate.
However, in a statement to the press on June 28, State House confirmed that Jubilee leaders would automatically support Ruto for president according to the agreement they made. State House Senior Director of Public Communication Munyori Buku said that Uhuru will support Ruto in 2022 because Ruto ‘is doing an excellent job and has proven his abilities, acumen and diligence as a leader’.
Njoroge kisses bye bye to Senate
Uhuru men had to desperately douse the political infernal Kabgo and Njoroge had started. No one can tell with certainty into which ballot boxes Central Kenya will cast their presidential ballot boxes come 2022. The debate on Ruto presidential support can only scuttle Uhuru’s support in the Rift Valley next year in favour of ODM chief Raila Amolo Odinga alias Rao.
But Rao has a gigantic huddle to overcome in the Rift Valley woven in the International Criminal Court (ICC) to which his party Chairman Henry Kosgey, Ruto and Joshua Sang, all Kalenjins represented ODM – a predominantly Luo party owned by none other but Rao – were charged over 2008 post election violence and not a single Luo. His spirited efforts to blame Uhuru and National Intelligence Service (NIS) on Ruto’s ICC predicament melted away when the case fell apart two months ago. His subsequent condemnation of ICC for failing to convict Uhuru and Ruto, whose thanks giving prayers in Nakuru he described as dancing on the graves of the dead, did not earn him any support in the Rift Valley or Central Kenya.
Aware of political serious retributions and potential repercussions in the Rift Valley over association with ODM, Kanu chairman Senator Gideon Moi dismissed claims that his party had joined ODM-Cord alliance. He described the claims as pesa nane (cheap) politics affirming that Kanu was firmly anchored in pre-election pact with Uhuru’s Jubilee.
The Baringo County Senator said they only worked with CORD because they supported the removal of the IEBC commissioners from office over credibility concerns. He explained that the party was angered by the alleged rigging of the Kericho Senatorial by-election, forcing them to lose trust in the electoral body.
Desperate over losing support opposition ODM-Cord is hypothesizing that Uhuru will not honour his word like he did with Musalia Mudavadi, who was lured to run as presidential candidate before mashetani went visiting Gatundu, or wherever, to upturn the pact in 2013. Musalia is planning another jab at the presidency but having gone in hibernation after disastrous failure, only a miracle can deliver him to State House.
However, despite seemingly mounting domestic problems amplified through the opposition prism, President Uhuru’s approval rating has risen to 68 per cent over the last three months, up from 47 per cent last November, according to a new Ipsos opinion poll published last Thursday. The approval must have a cooling effect on Uhuru’s headache. The approval rating was, as would be expected, highest among Jubilee supporters, at 85 per cent, up from 73 per cent in November.
Hassan: Raila ordered his eviction from constitutional office
The survey by Ipsos shows that only 31 per cent of those interviewed disapproved of Mr Kenyatta’s leadership. Those who dismiss his performance cite his lackluster fight against corruption. The poll was immediately disputed by Cord co-principal and Senator Minority Leader Moses Wetang’ula alias Weta, who described it as “a ploy to hoodwink Kenyans that Uhuru is still electable. These are cooked figures to depict some imagined popularity on the part of Jubilee,” argues Weta.
According to Ipsos, the poll was conducted between June 4 and 18, around the time that the Cord leaders, were wreaking havoc in violent demonstrations to push for the eviction of the electoral commissioners. Those demonstrations will cost Raila dearly because he exposed one of his darkest political facet hitherto unknown to many Kenyans. Millions will be afraid, indeed petrified, to put someone in State House who will be ordering dismissal of key public officers from their offices in public barazas like dictator Moi or their eviction by ODM’s hooligans along with the Men in Black whenever he is angry with their work.
Those fears are not far-fetched, Rao drove the pressure that saw the exit of former Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) chairman the late Samuel Kivuitu (RIP) after he lost 2007 election. Now he is on IEBC chairman Isaac Hassan’s back as the bad omen who pronounced his defeat by Uhuru in 2013.
Raila has cultivated a culture among his supporters that holds a firm believe that those who differ with him are enemies – in the true sense of the word! He has hypnotized ODM central management committee to believe, mentally and physically, that any dissenting voice belongs to political outcasts.
In October 2014 he ordered the disgraceful eviction from ODM offices of the Executive Director Magerer Langat during a CORD parliamentary Group meeting. Magerer a former MP for Kipkelion had been captured dismissing party leader Raila and ODM despite being the man in charge of the party’s secretariat. Revelations that Magerer publicly disparaged the party and its leadership during a meeting between IEBC and political parties representatives was enough ground to send him home unheard. A perfect case of never seeing the Emperor naked.
Magerer barbaric eviction from ODM offices
No wonder ODM secretary general Ababu Namwamba and deputy chairman and Funyula MP Paul Otuoma chose to resign before they were evicted from the ODM offices. Those who forcibly evicted Magerer, who included ODM Members of Nairobi County Assembly (MCAs), were never charged or disciplined to deter future eviction.
Related story – Ababu Namwamba Destroying Odinga Political Caliphate
Raila’s dictatorial tendencies have strong support among his admirers who do not seem to care about their negative political implications aiding in digging his political grave deeper. Lawyer Wetangula, who stood shoulder high with Raila during IEBC demonstrations, thinks Uhuru’s improved rating is a make-believe game. Uhuru’s approval was highest in Jubilee strongholds of central Kenya (88 per cent), Rift Valley (71 per cent) and Eastern (68 per cent).
However, in what is likely to generate some heated debate within the political class, the poll shows that the Cord strongholds of Coast and Western also approve of Uhuru’s leadership at 66 and 52 per cent, respectively. Weta argues that Uhuru had not done anything to justify his supposed improved ratings in the two regions.
He quips; “What has he done in Western to boost his ratings in the Mulembe nation? Even in Coast, the ratings fly in the face of the recent Malindi by-election, where voters returned a resounding victory for Cord”. Applying selective amnesia Weta chose to ignore the public appreciation of Uhuru’s efforts to revive multi-billion-shillings Mulembe nation landmark Mumias Sugar Factory and Webuye Paper Mills.
Gideon: Kanu has not joined Cord alliance
Uhuru also scores favourably in North Eastern (58 per cent) and Nairobi (57 per cent). His approval, as would be expected, is lowest in Nyanza, at only 30 per cent. Those who disagree cite his lacklustre fight against corruption (39 per cent), poor economy (19 per cent) and lack of infrastructure (six per cent).
Respondents who approve of his performance cite infrastructure development (31 per cent), education (15 per cent), the economy (13 per cent) and fighting corruption (eight per cent). The poll shows that 90 per cent of those who feel that Kenya is headed in the right direction also approve of the President’s performance with only six per cent thinking otherwise.
“Yet, on the other hand, nearly half of those holding a negative view regarding the country’s direction likewise give the President approval (49 per cent). To put it another way, while nearly all of those who feel Kenya is headed in ‘the right direction’ also approve of his recent performance (90 per cent), not even half of those who feel the country’s direction is ‘wrong’ fault his recent performance (44 per cent),” the pollsters explain.
Such a contradiction underscores two key questions raised earlier. One is, how much of the support enjoyed by such a political leader rests upon identity rather than attributed performance? The other is; given the reduced/shared powers of the presidency under the Constitution, how much credit or blame should the President be given for the perceived performance of the national government?
Next Friday: Is Raila self-destructing politically?