Sunday Reading: Ruto’s biggest threat in 2022 will be ethnic politics


By Blamuel Njururi. Kenya Confidential Editor-in-Chief, Nairobi, July 1, 2016

If Uhuru made any pledges to support Ruto to succeed him, Kenyans will be entitled to see when such agreement was made and how it legally, socially or contractually commits them as voters or abrogates their right to vote for a leader of their individual choice

History is a good teacher but Kenyans FORGET extremely fast.
Kenyans are today walking down a heavily trodden political path.

Young politicians driven by monetary and power greed in Parliament today, both in the National Assembly and the Senate, are talking about presidential succession as if it is enshrined in Kenya’s 2010 Constitution. No vice or deputy president has ever succeeded a sitting president in Kenya. Similarly no post-election partnership has ever lasted a decade in Kenya.

Mwai Kibaki and later George Saitoti served as vice presidents for a decade under Dictator Daniel arap Moi but even Saitoti did not succeed him nor did Musalia Mudavadi who was Moi’s last Vice President for three months.

The story of Kenya’s succession is simple and straightforward but the young politicians do not understand they cannot dictate the cause of history.

At independence in 1963 Presidential Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his vice president Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and their cabinet were inseparable darlings of a United Kenya African National Union (KANU) government. They were even wearing similar beads cap decorated with Kenya national colours.

President Mzee Kenyatta (Right) and Vice President Odinga (left)

Mzee Kenyatta even convinced opposition Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) led by Daniel Moi to disband and join KANU. Odinga was walking around Parliament with a black briefcase dishing out Ksh 10, 000 to KADU defectors.

Six years down the line Kenyatta and Odinga had a painful divorce with the latter forming his Kenya Peoples Union KPU. Odinga’s departure occasioned mini elections that required all those who had resigned from the ruling KANU party to seek fresh mandate under KPU. Majority of new KPU Members of Parliament who returned were mainly from Odinga’s Luo Nyanza.

Come 1978 after Kenyatta’ s death and Charles Njonjo RIGGED Moi to POWER in order to BLOCK then immensely popular Mwai Kibaki. Njonjo would be seen riding in the same Presidential limo with GG Kariuki aka Grace Gathoni.

The Kikuyu from Kenyatta’s Kiambu were describing Moi as a “passing cloud” meaning they never intended him to last long as president much as Njonjo did not envisage a day when Kibaki, a Kikuyu from Nyeri, would be president.

Down the memory lane Njonjo transformed into a monstrous traitor and was shelved out as was Kibaki replaced with Saitoti – a Kikuyu ( Kinuthia wa Muthengi) who disguised himself as a Maasai from Kajiado North.

Kibaki on a wheelchair taking over from Moi

Later Saitoti would be publicly humiliated and told he was not suitable as President.
Moi told Saitoti that urafiki ni tofauti na uongozi – friendship does not equal leadership acumen.

Moi was replaced by Kibaki following a KANU rift that drove Raila Odinga and several other ministers opposed to Moi choice of Uhuru Kenyatta as his successor -including William Ruto.

Many Kenyans remember the famous Raila’s call Kibaki Tosha and Yote yawezekana mbila Moi that led to Narc victory in 2003.

Two years later emerged the infamous MoU that saw Kibaki and Raila part company with Narc and defeat of 2005 Constitutional Referendum. Kibaki had Kijana Wamalwa as his vice president who was replaced by Moody Awori on death. Awori had no ambition for the Presidency to succeed Kibaki.

The Narc defectors led by Raila formed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) out of Orange that was the symbol for those who opposed the Constitutional Referendum.

Come 2007 General Election and Orange was sliced into two pieces when Kalonzo Musyoka took off with the ODM-Kenya forcing Raila to buy another ODM that had been registered by lawyer Milton Mugambi Imanyara as a political party.

Both ODMs lost the Presidential race but Kalonzo joined Kibaki giving him a lifeline of a narrow Parliamentary lead.

However, the 2007 elections that was to mark Kibaki’s second term Raila joined ranks with Ruto and the country went through its worst political upheaval that claimed over 1,500 lives, displaced over 3.4 million Kenyans and inflicted billions of shillings of economic loss.

Kibaki (left) and Uhuru in nusu mkate agreement

The country cooled down when international pressure forced nusu mkate government with Raila as Prime Minister after a Constitution amendment. Ruto began falling out with Raila when he appointed Mudavadi as a deputy Prime minister instead of him.

Even nusu mkate had its share of grumbling and Kiabki eventually decided to ignore the constant harassment by Raila and his supporters. This is an approach that Uhuru can adopt if the Ruto’s side becomes a pain in his flesh.

If indeed there is a split between President Uhuru and his Deputy Ruto, history is just repeating itself. If there is fallout in Jubilee again history is repeating itself. If it’s true that Raila told NASA that they hold their horses as he goes to break up Jubilee as Senator Kipchumba Murkomen is claiming, then history would be repeating itself as he did to KANU in 2003.

Indeed, that would make sense in the message Raila gave Ruto last year that he will need him in 2022. His followers credit Raila as the man who destroyed the powerful then ruling party KANU when he joined it in 1997 only to defect with its giants in 2002 to suffer a devastating defeat.

But the future glory of our Motherland is in the Hands of the Almighty God NOT the UhuRutos and other political contraptions made by man. Man plans God executes.

All Kenyans need to do is support the clean up in the country’s moral decay embedded in CORRUPTION and their road to real Canaan will be without potholes or barriers. Kenyans must migrate from the Man-eat-Man society to a civilized society free from corruption.

Politics at times is a fool’s paradise!

It is painful to start talking about CORRUPTION as if it has no effect in Kenya and presidential office will deliver Kenya to heaven through the so-called UhuRuto.
Those invoking Religious beliefs on the same breath with political struggle for presidency four years away are very NAIVE and no amount of civics can help.

Corruption super highway was opened by the first head of civil service and later Central Bank Governor Duncan Ndegwa when a 1972 Commission he chaired recommended that civil servants could henceforth engage in private business. That opened the flood gates for self-embezzlement by all senior civil servants none of whom can claim they did not use their offices to enrich themselves. Most of their children inherited both the evil gotten wealth and followed suit in corruption.

Ndegwa: Chaired Commission that allowed civil servants to engage in business

When president Moi campaigned for his first term his pledge was the would end Makendo (Magendo) the euphemism for Corruption in those days. Once he sat on the seat of power he presided over a reign of unbridled corruption for 24 years. Public land grabbing became the hallmark of Moi’s regime in which he led in grabbing Mau Forest water towers. Public land was grabbed and sold to parastatal organisations at exorbitant prices creating overnight millionaires – now billionaires.

Moi grabbed 900 acres of Mau forest that he claimed was on the fringe of the forest and would prevent enchroachgment. it turned out to be atop the Mau Water Towers today suffering extreme water supply to the entire region. Former cabinet minister William Ntimama urged Moi to surrender but his appeal fell on deaf ears. Read:

President Kibaki was elected on the same ticket that he would fight corruption and Kenyans started arresting corrupt traffic police but were soon disillusioned when no action was taken. Uhuru is the first president to launch war on corruption mid way his constitutional ten year maximum tenure. In his second term Uhuru needs to leave a legacy and emancipating Kenya from the shackles of corruption will be everlasting. Patriotic Kenyans have a duty to spport the president’s efforts in the face of gluttonous cartels that are fighting back.

Corruption aside, Ruto will have an uphill task of convincing Kenyans that the Kenyan presidency is not the preserve of Kikuyus and Kalenjins. The first President Kenyatta, a Kikuyu handed the presidential button after 16 years in State House to Moi – a Kalenjin.

Kibaki hands over the instruments of power to Uhuru

Moi lorded over Kenyans for 24 years and was succeeded by Mwai Kibaki – a Kikuyu who after 10 years was succeeded by a fellow Kikuyu and current President Uhuru. In 2022, the Kenya presidency will have been in the hands of Kikuyu and Kalenjin for 60 years uninterrupted since independence in 1963. Unfortunately Kenyans seem to remember their ethnicity more vividly come elections during which they are even driven by politicians to kill fellow Kenyans.

Should ethnic politics rear its ugly head as it does every election time, Ruto and his supporters of a divided Kalenjin community between him and Moi’s son Gideon followers and the Kikuyus, now seen to be preparing another Kikuyu in Peter Kenneth to succeed him, will be a major huddle to overcome – literally insurmountable uphill task of a political jinx.

If Ruto survives the Lifestyle Audit, which his Kalenjin politicians are claiming is targeted at him, he will need miracles to overcome the ethnic blockade likely to be erected by his opponents to frustrate the Kikuyu-Kalenjin State House tenancy dominance.

One may argue that the same applied in 2013 when political pundits propounded the view that another Kikuyu could not replace the one departing the presidency. Indeed, Kibaki kitchen bought the idea and went for Musalia Mudavadi until Uhuru decided he would try his luck. Uhuru was among six 2007-2008 post-election suspects at the International Criminal Court. So was Ruto.

Moi grabbed 9,000 acres of Mau Forest water tower

The six were said by ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo to be three from ODM and an equal number from then ruling Party of National Unity (PNU). However no one close to Raila, the mastermind of Mass Action that led to the violence, was before the ICC and two of his supporters in Kalenjin community and Somali were in court.

The six were then suspended Education Minister Ruto, Finance Minister Uhuru and Industrialization Minister Henry Kosgey. Also on the list are secretary to the cabinet and head of civil service Francis Kirimi Muthaura, former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali and radio announcer Joshua Arap Sang. That explains why Muthaura gets plump jobs in Uhuru government while his father short-changed Mau Mau fighters when he formed government.

The ICC became the glue that bound the populous Kikuyu and Kalenjin to vote their young leaders to power under the cleverly orchestrated theme of uniting the two hostile communities of Kikuyu and Kalenjin in the Rift Valley. That unity brought huge numbers of ethnic voters together landing Uhuru at State House. The dual capitalised on sympathy vote, prayers and the hope that they would sail through the ICC.

They did and none owes the other any debt as to drag their communities or the Kenyan nation to settle their personal scores. If Uhuru made any pledges to support Ruto to succeed him, Kenyans will be entitled to see when such agreement was made and how it legally, socially or contractually commits them as voters or abrogates their right to vote for a leader of their individual  choice.

Ruto supporters should stop blaming Raila for their self-inflicted political mischief after adopting Raila’s failed tactic of perennial premature presidential campaigns and secret MoUs without legal or constitutional basis as they are doing cheating the deputy president they are behind him.

Without a legally and publicly binding contractual document that Kenyans can see and decide for themselves it commits them to vote without surrendering their universal suffrage and constitutional right, Jubilee proponents talking about Uhuru promising to support Ruto for presidency must henceforth understand that is a personal pledge, not biding on anybody else but Uhuru and his single vote. That is what Universal suffrage secret ballot of one-man one-vote means. They must stop dragging Kenya back to a single party regime.

The ICC factor no longer obtains and the two communities are not at war as had been orchestrated under the 42-against-One with the aim of evicting Kikuyus from the Rift Valley. A large number of Kikuyus evicted from their land in the Rift Valley never went back neither have all IDPs been resettled. In any case Kikuyus safety in the Rift Valley cannot only be dependent on a Kalenjin leader being in State House.