By Kenya Confidential Political Editor, Nairobi – August 22, 2019
Leadership is not about where you were born. It is not about where you come from. It is not about the colour of your skin. It is the desire to do public good, a desire to serve people, and anybody can do that
Kenya’s Deputy President (Dr?) William Samoei Ruto is a politician who has perfected politics of betrayal in Kenya. He betrays every leader who helps him climb the perilous political ladder. He has hidden his Nicholas Biwott-like traits of ruthless political and business merchant.
After climbing to the second highest office in any county’s leadership, and indeed, political hierarchy, he has embarked on his journey to betray his boss and President of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta. In a large measure of contempt to a man who picked him up from the ruins of The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) where they were facing the heinous crimes against humanity charges. He has discovered Uhuru is a son of a dynasty who Kenyans must must have nothing to do with in 2002 election.
Fashioning himself as “self-made” billionaire who toiled under extreme poverty to become a multi-billionaire, Ruto embarked on premature 2022 Presidential campaign early in 2018 soon after they were sworn in after 2017 repeat Presidential election.
All appeals by President Uhuru that they embark on development of the country instead of 2022 campaign have fallen on deaf ears. Ruto has chosen the defiant route of campaigning at every opportunity – including National Prayers event.
He has made Uhuru part of his election issue as a son of “political dynasties” that have ruled Kenya since 1963. He is appealing to Kenyans to vote him as president because he is what he calls a “hustler” and reject the sons of what he calls “dynasties”. The sons of dynasties, he explains, are sons of former presidents and cabinet ministers.
That category comprises fellow Kalenjin and son of former Dictator Daniel arap Moi, Gideon Moi, former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s son Raila Odinga and the son of former cabinet minister Moses Mudavadi – Musalia Mudavadi. To Ruto, those are people who should be rejected in 2022 because of their families’ political background.
Ruto tells public rallies that he is frequently asked how he expects to be elected president when Kenyans do not know his father but he does not say when or at which venues the issue has been raised. He also does not tell Kenyans whether he was first elected as MP for Eldoret North because voters knew his father or because he actually financed his election with handouts from Moi-turned-Dynasty for his part in Youth for Kanu in 1992.
During the 41stmemorial of the founder President of the Kenyan Nation, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who died on August 22 1978, President Uhuru Kenyatta decided enough is enough about Ruto’s “Hustlers versus Dynasties” campaign”. He made no pretenses that he is fed up with his deputy’s brinkmanship behaviour.
History repeats itself
Very much like when President Moi told his Vice President the late George Saitoti that “there is a difference between friendship and leadership”, Uhuru told his Deputy President on the face that “leadership is not about which family you were born in”.
“Leadership is not about where you were born. It is not about where you come from. It is not about the colour of your skin. It is the desire to do public good, a desire to serve the people, and anybody can do that.” Uhuru told Ruto, leaving no doubts, he was fed up with his deputy’s greed for power. Uhuru’s father and mother were detained by colonial British but he has never made any political capital about it.
He expounded his anger further when he reminded Ruto that the politicians he has made his punching bags, like former Prime Minister Raila, he calls “mganga na mtu wa vitenda wili” (witch doctor and miracle man) have families whose members he hurts with his abusive politics – meaning even Kenyatta’s family feels pain over the dynasty tag.
If Ruto has ears, he must know that henceforth he has lost Uhuru’s support because of his own political insubordination. From now on Ruto is on his own and his hustlers. Many of them may not be aware that he owes his political achievements and all his wealth to the “dynasty families’ of Moi and Kenyatta – to whom he is no longer thankful.
Uhuru’s patience has been wearing since Ruto told him off over his fight against Corruption. Reacting to a statement made by the President that he will not spare “even his closest political ally”, Ruto told Citizen TV during a prime talk show that he “does not believe corruption can stop a leader (read Uhuru) from delivering in Kenya”.
In other words, the deputy president does not see any sense in President Uhuru wasting valuable time fighting corruption instead of enriching himself. When a partner loses confidence with his pal as Ruto seems to say over corruption, the best he can do is call it quits.
Ruto, a man who draws attention to himself at national events, has maintained his distance from Uhuru’s War on Corruption. He pledges support to the president on all other national issues but corruption. The two have however, maintained a see-through veil in their divergent political paths but that may no longer the case.
Their political marriage hit another milestone towards dissolution today with Uhuru’s open dress down of his deputy telling him publicly that his presidential bid will not be propelled by his pretentious hustler status.
Only blindfolded politicians wearing mufflers on their ears can continue thinking that President Uhuru will back Ruto in his 2022 presidential bid after such a show of betrayal, ridicule and disrespect to the man who propelled him to a heart-beat from the Presidency.
Ruto has become what the Biblical Judas was to Jesus Christ when he betrayed him for 30 pieces of silver. His unexplained wealth makes him think he has enough monetary armour to fight Kenya’s political establishment. He has, however, failed the litmus test of temerity and perseverance a true political hustler eschews as did Moi during the Kenyatta era that landed him the presidency.
The Kenyatta memorial came at a time when the nation is experiencing a period of political tranquility following the now famous Uhuru-Raila handshake last year. This featured prominently when both Uhuru and Raila rose to address the congregation gathered at the Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi.
Though Raila has attended similar ceremonies during Uhuru’s presidency and even given a chance to speak, his address today was carefully being followed and words weighed heavily. So, was the President’s address.
It was interesting to note that when Uhuru was introduced by his deputy, according to protocol, he had no usual ‘thank you William’ in reference to Ruto. Even in his address he kept on referring to Raila’s speech and the handshake – not anything Ruto said.
He also kept on referring to Raila as ‘my brother’ while reminding the congregation ‘how deep’ the handshake was and why it should not be politicised. Uhuru never made any reference to Ruto’s speech anywhere instead making it clear that it was him and Raila that will leave this country at a better position than ‘it has never been seen before’.
The person that Uhuru has a political pact with is none other than Ruto. It, therefore, goes without saying that Ruto’s star is waning. Over a fortnight ago at the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso funeral, Ruto referred to Raila as my brother. Three days ago he called him “yule mtu wa vitenda wili” and welcomed him to the 2022 presidential fight. Raila has yet to declare his interest in the race.
When all is said and done, 2022 will be a defining moment for ordinary Kenyans to decide if their Country is a football pitch or a Monarchy for two tribes to play their Presidency MONOPOLY game whether they are HUSTLERS or DYNASTIES like they have done over the last 56 years inflicting injustices, inequality and endemic Corruption upon the citizenry!
Kenya has 44 tribes and all of them should enjoy equal opportunity for the Presidency. The two tribes have had more than their fair share. Their leaders have exhibited great ineptitude in national resources and economic management as well as total lack of genuine patriotism and national cohesion. They believe in buying voters.