By Kenya Confidential Political Editor, Nairobi – May 10, 2020
The MPs accused Ruto of being dishonest and failing to discharge his duties at the expense of what they said was “unbridled ambition” for State House
Kenya today moved towards the direction of Little General Election that may be occasioned by Deputy President William Ruto and his supporters decamping from the ruling party Jubilee.
The fall out within the party following removal of Ruto adherents from the Senate leadership is an open invitation for him to walk out with his parliamentary supporters the same way vice president Jaramogi Oginga Odinga walked out of Jomo Kenyatta Kanu government in 1966.
Odinga had fallen out with Kenyatta after he had been informed by the British Intelligence of his Vice President’s importing Russian weapons to overthrow the young government. Ruto is facing almost a similar situation with his close ally and former Sports Minister Rashid Echesa facing charges relating to European military equipment deal whose full details are yet to be made public.
In what could be history repeating itself in Kenya, political observers hold the view that Uhuru has shown Ruto the door out of Jubilee and the longer he stays the more he will be unwelcome anywhere near him. On his part the sooner Ruto revives his URP Party or forms a new one and, of course, quits the deputy presidency, the better. He cannot win a battle over Jubilee.
Should Ruto quit Jubilee and launch another party with his followers comprising Members of Parliament and Senators, Kenya will have no option but hold a Little General Election as it happened to Odinga in 1966 after forming Kenya Peoples Union (KPU). All central Kenya MPs who sought re-election as KPU candidates lost. In the event of a Little General Election today Ruto would be left with about a dozen Nandi and Kipsigis MPs and Senators in the Rift Valley.
The process was kicked off by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party by kicking out Ruto allies in new changes made to the Jubilee Senate leadership. National Assembly leadership could follow suit soon with some changes.
KANU’s West Pokot Senator Samuel Poghisio has replaced Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen as the Majority leader in the Senate.
Poghisio will be deputised by Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dillo. Another Ruto ally and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika has been replaced as Majority Whip by Murang’a senator Irungu Kang’ata who will be deputised by nominated senator Farhiya Ali.
The new changes came just a day after Uhuru summoned a Senate parliamentary group meeting at State House. The president invoked his powers as the Jubilee Party leader that allows him to summon a meeting of any organ of the party at any time.
- The outcome of the meeting was the ouster of Senators Murkomen and Kihika who have been accused of sabotaging the president’s agenda in what insiders call gross insubordination.
- The meeting came against the backdrop of a post-election coalition deal inked and deposited at the Registrar of Political parties between the Jubilee Party and KANU.
- This will now allow KANU to sit in house committees and attend Jubilee’s parliamentary group meetings.
- President Uhuru Kenyatta in a statement from State House congratulated the new appointees, saying he was looking forward to working with them to deliver service to Kenyans.
Echesa (left) in court over Europen military weapons
The changes were met with opposition by Ruto allies who took to social media to criticise the move, terming it as a gross violation of the party’s constitution. Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria claimed that the new changes were a shade of the rigging that Jubilee orchestrated in 2013 – rigging of which he is a beneficiary. Indeed, Uhuru is on record telling Kuria he has been selected, not elected, twice.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot said that there were no photos of the State House senators meeting, claiming that 23 senators out of the 35 Jubilee senators stayed away. There were numerous lists of those who attended and those who did not circulating in social media.
He quipped in a Twitter, “You will never see photos of the purported Jubilee Senators PG for the very simple reason that NUMBERS do not lie. Of the 35 Jubilee Senators, 23 kept off. What has befallen the ruling party ? Amidst a global health pandemic, we are engaged in such monkey business?’
Monkey business or not Ruto days as Deputy President days are numbered. Last March MPs allied to President Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, asked the deputy president to resign, accusing him of misconduct and violation of oath of office. The lawmakers said that Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambition has clouded his role as the President’s principal assistant.
“The deputy president is guilty of public misconduct and grave malpractices and has not lived up to the oath of office,” the MPs said in a statement read by Baringo Woman Representative Gladwell Cheruiyot and Kathiani MP Robert Mbui.
“He has not brought honour and dignity to the office of the deputy president,” they said, and hinted impeaching Ruto was an open option.
The MPs accused Ruto of being dishonest and failing to discharge his duties at the expense of what they said was “unbridled ambition” for State House.
“With this state of affairs, William Ruto must shape up or ship out. He needs time and undivided attention to pursue the only thing that makes sense and has meaning in his life — dream and campaign for the 2022 presidential elections,” the MPs said.
The MPs were not far from the truth.
According to Ruto 2022 presidential election strategy team, it was just as matter of time before Ruto and his adherents quit Jubilee. The team’s confidential strategy under Confidential cover Ref No: ODP/PS/04/2020 from: Secretariat, WSR 2022 states;
It is in light of the recent developments, where cabals of power are determined to frustrate the Deputy President’s presidential bid, that we have formulated this strategy. It provides an outline on how to strengthen the DP’s 2022 presidential bid amidst prevailing and anticipated constraints. This plan should be read and understood together with the ‘Masada Complex’, which you all know is a plan to instigate orchestrated mass protests by DP’s fanatics as a last-ditch separation from the Jubilee government.
Roadmap to a successful 2022 presidential race
A Restatement of Our Objective:
Our collective goal is to ensure that His Excellency William Ruto is installed as the Fifth President of the Republic of Kenya. We all recognize that this is not going to be easy but we have the resolve, energy, passion and all necessary resources to win. To ensure a successful campaign, however, our entire campaign must note the following salient points:
- The DP’s chief political opponents are H.E. The President and Former PM Raila Odinga. The president is asleep, detached, and clueless (don’t be fooled by his new bright shirts). Raila will use his closeness to the president to edge out the DP (in a replay of his tricks during the Moi succession) and frustrate his 2022 campaign. Raila will work with tycoons and sycophants around the president.
- Our campaign should therefore rightly project the DP as the victim of political machinations. Presenting the DP as a victim will endear him to the voters in the run up to 2022 and mobilize the populace to take his corner politically. It is therefore imperative that as a political party, we take advantage of this opening by depicting the DP as a victim of intra-Jubilee wrangles whose purpose is to illegally eject him from the party.
- During the entire coronavirus crisis, the DP should also be made to look like a victim who is being deliberately left out of important crisis meetings and is not being consulted by the President. This will pay credence to (b), above.
- The DP should also be made to look like a victim who is being linked to corruption scandals such as the Ruai Sewege land, the Maize scandal, Arror and Kimwarer Dam scandals, the Kenya Airports Authority land, and the Fake Military Firearms scandal involving his friend Richard Echesa and the subsequent murder of a policeman attached to his office.
- The coronavirus crisis, while serious, did not warrant a lockdown. As you may have noted, the lockdown has slowed down our momentum and especially our onslaught on the BBI, and given the President a new lease of life. They manufactured this crisis for this purpose. The deaths being reported are from existing diseases such as Diabetes, pre- existing respiratory conditions, Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Malaria, and high blood pressure, but these are being scored as COVID-19 deaths.
- We should work hard to call for the removal of the lockdown by showing that government has no plan for curbing the spread of the virus. Every member of this campaign must take the line that this is a fake crisis whose purpose is to create an opportunity for thieves to steal money from government coffers.
As much as some Senators sympathetic to Ruto claim they will remain in Jubilee come what may, his campaign strategists think otherwise stating that his resignation is on the menu.
“Resignation of the Deputy President:
Please note that the Resignation of H.E WILLIAM RUTO is on the table as a viable strategy for ascending to the helm. We must ensure the environment is sufficiently poisoned so that his resignation can plunge this country into a political and constitutional crisis that will make this country ungovernable. Such conditions will make it possible for William Ruto to ascend to the presidency.
Read more next issue.
History has a habit of repeating itself in Kenya. Deputy President William Ruto swimming in troubled waters that frowned former Vice President Jaramogi Odinga Odinga.
He was forced out of Kanu, formed his party Kenya Peoples Union (KPU) and started his journey into. political wilderness.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga: Marooned in political jungle from 1966 by Kenyatta and Moi