Arrogance, pride and blindness will be Ruto’s waterloo

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021 17:40 |

By Olivia Chebet

He who the gods want to destroy, they first make arrogant, goes an African proverb. In Kenya, one might add that he who the political gods want to terminate, they first make arrogant, proud and blind.

They make you so arrogant that you proclaim your ability to beat the system that you serve, make you proud that you announce how you came from a shoeless cattle herds boy to dining on the highest table in the land, and they make you so blind that you can’t see the route others before you and beside you used to get where you want to go.

Deputy President William Ruto is an admirable character that many young people may be, nay might have been advised to emulate. His energy on the campaign trail is unmatched, his oratory skills are up there and ability to mobilise the masses is not in doubt.

Kenya’s number Two has also exhibited his stature as a man of means who doesn’t mind sharing “the little he has” with the less fortunate members of the society.

And that is leadership.

It could be because of these traits that various leaders have in the past sought to partner with Dr Ruto as they pursued their dreams to the top of the country’s leadership.

When, in 1992, then President Daniel Moi faced one of the strongest challenges to his reign, he must have seen these traits in the then twent-something-year-old Ruto that made him reach to him and pull him into YK92.

It must have been the same circumstances that Raila Odinga made a choice to bring Ruto on board in the run up to the 2007 general elections and almost succeeded in clinching the presidency.

When candidate Uhuru Kenyatta chose to partner with William Ruto in the period preceding the 2013 general elections, he knew what and who he was getting himself to. The choice of Dr Ruto deflated the Odinga camp and, admittedly, buoyed his mission. And with that Uhuru Kenyatta became President and Ruto was Deputy President!

It is then that the three dream killers seem to have set in.

For at least the third time, the Deputy President is facing impeachment threats, two for sabotaging his boss, President Uhuru Kenyatta despite the two being elected on a joint ticket meaning they are joined at the hip.

In March last year. MPs from across the aisle threatened to impeach the DP accusing him of, among others, corruption, dishonesty and unexplained wealth. 

Then last week, Amani National Congress Deputy Party Leader Ayub Savula threatened to impeach the DP  accusing him of sabotaging the government's agenda and being a threat to the country's stability. 

In that impeachment motion Savula vowed to make the case that because the DP’s ambition is in competition with priorities set by the government he serves in, he is a danger to the stability of the nation by covertly dissenting and sabotaging the President’s government agenda”.

Article 148 (1) of the Constitution says a presidential candidate is obliged to nominate a person who is qualified for nomination for election as President, as a candidate for Deputy President.

Subsequently, there shall be no separate nomination process for the Deputy President and a candidate for Deputy President is not required to be nominated by a political party to stand in an election.

According to the Constitution, the Deputy President shall only be removed from office on grounds of a gross violation of a provision of this Constitution or any other law; where there are serious reasons to believe that the Deputy President has committed a crime under national or international law; for gross misconduct; or in accordance with provisions of Articles 144 and 145 relating to the removal of the President, with the necessary modifications, to the removal of the Deputy President.

Dr Ruto does not need to search far for lessons in the art of avoiding being destroyed by the gods.

His first benefactor, the late Daniel Moi, spent several years humbly leaking the ass of his boss Jomo Kenyatta as Vice President. He became President.

The just concluded elections in the far off United States of Americawhere Joe Biden, who diligently and humbly served President Obama, was patient enough and has been rewarded with the presidency is another example that Ruto can learn from.

Kenya's governance is seen to be largely a hybrid between United States, South African and European systems merged into one.

Luckily, President Uhuru appears to have realised the threat his DP poses his Mt Kenya backyard and has resorted to a scorched earth

policy as evidenced by his remarks when he held an interview with Kikuyu TV and radio stations.

During the interview, the President rooted for the constitutional changes envisioned in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), saying they hold the key to the Mt Kenya region's continued stay in power thanks to expansion of the national executive that would see reintroduction of the prime minister's position and two deputies. Ruto is using the same BBI to antagonize his boss.

Arrogance, pride and blindness will be Ruto’s waterloo.

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