By Kenya Confidential Political Analyst, Nairobi – April 26, 201820
Kenyans want peace across the country at all cost, rather than having the presidency rotating between only two tribes when we have more than 40 tribes. Ruto has always painted himself as a hustler who started his economic journey by selling chicken in a family not known to own a poultry barn – now the chicken have come to roost
It is said that the Government is like a fire, when you are too far, you feel cold, when close you feel warm but when you get too close it burns. No other people know that better than many Kenyan politicians who at one point were close to dictators Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki enjoying the warmth of their governments until they got too close and were burnt out.
Good examples include founder President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta king maker Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, others who fell by the way included fellow Kapenguria six detainees Kung’u Karumba, Achieng’ Oneko, Fred Kubai, and Bildad Kaggia.
The fallout between nationalists, who put their lives before their personal security, was fueled by selfish political interests by a click of power greedy people around Kenyatta as corruption started eating into his government. The same would apply to his successor Moi.
Enter Dictator Daniel arap Moi and the one hundred-year-old former Minister for Constitutional Affairs Charles Mugane Njonjo, who literally imposed Moi upon Kenyans as president after the death of Kenyatta, found himself burning out after claims that he was planning a coup aided by mercenaries from Seychelles. Others to follow suit were Maasai kingpins Stanley Oilitiptip, John Keen, multiparty crusaders Kenneth Matiba, Charles Rubia among many others.
On the eve of 2002 General Election Moi suffered the humiliation of cabinet ministers led by his Vice President George Saitoti part company with him. The other key figures in Kanu’s sunset fall from power were Raila Amolo Odinga, of Kibaki Tosha fame, who was Kanu Secretary General, Tourism minister Najib Balala, Foreign Affairs minister Kalonzo Musyoka, Office of the President Minister William Ruto and assistant minister Moody Awori.
Power struggles between Kenyan politicians spilled over into the third Kenya President Mwai Kibaki with the uncanny trend of King maker Raila Amolo Odinga falling out of favour following the defeat of 2005 Constitution Referrendum. After defeating the referendum Raila formed Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) with Kalonzo, Najib Balala among others.
Political bad blood would spill into Kibaki’s second term after 2007 General Election that saw the worst chapter in Kenya’s history written in the blood of over 1,500 innocent Kenyans during ethnic cleansing led by Raila and Ruto. For the first time in Kenya’s history over 65,000 families were displaced from their homes and farms creating a community of IDPs some of whom have never been resettled,
The protagonists would early 2008 negotiate peace and form a government of National Unity popularly known as “nusu mkate”. The 2007-2008 bloodbath however, invited the International Criminal Court (ICC) that saw Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, with four others, charged with crimes against humanity in the last years of Kibaki government.
It was during the Hague trial that Ruto and Uhuru decided to pair up and run for Presidential election against all odds in 2013 under a party they called TNA. After elections Uhuru emerged be the President and Ruto his deputy under the 2010 constitution that introduced a presidential system of governance. The first term of Uhuru’s presidency was generally uneventful.
The pair went through two elections in 2017 after a successful challenge by Raila petition against their victory but he failed to offer himself during a repeat election. No sooner had the victory celebrations ended than Ruto embarked on his 2022 presidential election. An examination of his conduct and that of his minions since 2013 clearly provides ample evidence to conclude he chose to inherit his boss still alive.
Ruto’s bid to inherit Uhuru while still in power was hatched during 2013 Jubilee Party general election nominations. He caused a repeat of nominations after it dawned upon him that candidates nominated would not support his presidential ambition. During the repeat nominations he mapped out the entire Kenya and ensured MCAs, MPs, Senators and over half of Governors would back his cause.
There is ample evidence recently submitted by nobody else but Ruto himself that he had planted adequate MPs and Senators to support his presidential ambition. When three top Jubilee Party management officials were replaced he waged an abusive campaign citing support of MPs and Senators in twitters he posted.
In an open show of gross contempt, he unleashed a tirade of abuses describing the changes as having been done by fraudsters in total disregard as to whether they were approved by the party leader – his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta who he claims to consult daily.
A gazette notice dated April 6 asked all parties interested in challenging the process to reach out to the Registrar of Political Parties. He accused “shadowy characters” of attempting to fraudulently institute illegal changes in officials of Jubilee party while Kenyans were invested in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
Taking to Twitter angrily, Ruto said that he had already notified the Registrar of Political Parties of the fraud and the matter was being handled. “As Kenyans are focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, some shadowy characters are attempting to FRAUDULENTLY institute ILLEGAL changes in officials of Jubilee party. As deputy leader I have alerted the registrar of the fraud. Party members should know that the matter is being handled,” he Tweeted.
Ruto left no doubt that he had mobilized his political foot soldiers against his boss and 146 lawmakers from both Senate and Parliament are on his side. According to his foot soldiers, he wanted the party to call the National Executive Committee meeting to draw up a calendar for party elections.The Deputy President’s camp wants to elect people who will support his agenda within the party as they prepare to succeed President Uhuru in 2022.
He tweeted, “70%-146 elected Jubilee MPs – Senate and National Assembly have rejected the fraudulent and illegal attempted changes by heartless gangsters taking advantage of the Covid-19 when Kenyans are anxious about their health and survival. They aren’t President Uhuru’s men; they are crooks”.
Quite obviously Ruto had not read or understood Jubilee Party Constitution that states. “The party leader has ultimate powers over the running of the party and can choose to enter political cooperation with another party or coalition. All the fight Ruto and his foot soldiers have waged against Raila and March 19 2018 handshake, is therefore plain insubordination.
The Registrar of Political Parties however registered the changes leaving no doubts as to who was calling the shots. When Ruto challenged what is obviously Uhuru’s sanctioned leadership changes in the ruling Jubilee Party, he hammered down yet another nail on this quickly tightly shutting political coffin that will go into a hole he is digging beyond six feet.
This came as a rude shock to Ruto who thought he had maximised on the opportunity to rig in as many MPs as he could in 2017 to have enough numbers in Parliament to do anything he wanted or thwart anything they disagreed on with the President. Ruto also made sure he had his major political opponents either rigged out or otherwise rendered politically impotent.
Ruto’s key victims were Martha Karua in Kirinyaga or Peter Kenneth in Nairobi and Maina Njenga in Rift Valley, who has said he will make sure 15,000 acres of Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) grabbed by Ruto are repossessed by government. He says Ruto rigged him out of Jubilee nomination forcing him to go to Kanu.
Ruto foot soldiers and charlatans among them Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro in supporting Deputy President’s insatiable greed for land grabbing reputation, argues that even Kenyatta and Moi also grabbed vast tracts of land. Such warped argument is shameful coming from a young Member of Parliament. He should know two wrongs do not make a right and qualification to be a president in Kenya is not land grabbing – except perhaps by Kikuyu and Kalenjin political standards.
Alice Wahome: Among Ruto’s foot soldiers in Muranga
Second to his strategy to stuff Parliament and key government offices with his loyalists, Ruto cleverly uses the same politicians and foot soldiers to badmouth Uhuru, especially in the Mt Kenya region. They include Alice Wahome, Nyoro, Uhuru’s Gatundu South Moses Kurua, Parliamentary Budget and Appropriations Committee chairman Kimani Ichung’wa – notorious for slurs on Uhuru and Interior Minister Fred Matiang’i. Ichung’wa says “come what may he will die with Ruto”,
In 2013 shared government Ruto got plump ministries of Treasury and Energy where he planted Cabinet and Principal Secretaries with strict instructions to loot the coffers to finance 2022 Presidential election. They have diligently delivered given the billions in cash looted in corruption-related deals involving Treasury, water dams, power and generating bodies. Uhuru also got cash generating infrastructure and health ministries where overnight billionaires are created.
For Ruto his scheming was a novel strategy, except it has backfired once the sleeping lion has woken and is now making his presence felt.The Jubilee Party row has been followed by the demolition of Ruto’s multi-billion-shilling Easton Park estate built on grabbed 3,000 acres of Nairobi City Sewage extension land in Ruai. Sources close to powers that be say the Ruai land repossession is a curtain raiser and when the curtains are fully raised a distraught soul will be naked.
Ruto’s ramping up and openly challenging and disagreeing with Uhuru on some of the issues the President is espousing such as the fight against corruption is nothing but insubordination. That has done nothing but compound his already impossible path to the presidency. His biggest weakness is lack of mature advisors and political analysts. He surrounds himself with court poets (bloggers/Tweeters) and jesters who only praise him and his ill-gotten wealth.
The audacity with which he is publicly displaying insubordination is unmatched, and he is determined to beat the system that’s so clearly dead-set against him succeeding Uhuru. He has of late gone ahead to accuse the same system of blocking his presidential bid that he says it can only succeed by killing him.
Ruto voluntarily ignited the fire that burns politicians from governments and it has started burning him despite claims by his foot soldiers that if it were not for him Uhuru would not have been President. Uhuru does not need him in 2022.
In any case, the same was said about Kenyatta and Odinga, Moi and Njonjo as well as Kibaki and Raila. Then it follows that the same fate awaits Ruto. Worse, his days as a free man could also be numbered following cases that may follow him.
Ruto’s failure to recognise something Uhuru and many in the so-called system finally have come to admit is Kenya cannot continue like a ticking time-bomb set to rip the country apart into pieces every five years because of election woes. In fact Uhuru picked on him in the hope that he would guarantee peace and tranquility in the Rift Valley and especially his desire to incite his community into violence.
Kenyans want peace across the country at all cost, rather than having the presidency rotating between only two tribes when we have more than 40 tribes. Ruto has always painted himself as a hustler who started his economic journey by selling chicken in a family not known to own a poultry barn – now the chicken have come to roost.