Deputy President Ruto’s limited options in dicey 2022 poll race

Monday, September 2nd, 2019 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto. Photo/File


Recently, a local daily ran an intriguing story; that President Uhuru Kenyatta is part of an imminent coalition also bringing on board, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi and Kanu’s Gideon Moi.

If there is any shred of truth in the headline, political manoeuvres that are at play in the much-acclaimed Handshake of March  2018 between   Uhuru and Raila are slowly crystallising from the mist. 

For fairness sake, let’s give credit to Uhuru and Odinga the statesmen! They defied close allies, put their egos aside and embraced their differences for the sake of the nation! This act of selflessness will never be forgotten.

In the same vein, we must look at Uhuru and Odinga the politicians! The talks of the coalition are indicative of underhand political dealings behind the Handshake. It gives credence to the saying that in politics, there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends, only permanent interests.

Political interests of Raila and Uhuru seem to have coincided. And with the coincidence, the two nemeses had to bury the hatchet and forge a working relationship to achieve what now seems like ulterior political interests.

In what I perceive as an attempt in furtherance of such political interests, the two leaders and their close allies are increasingly calling for the restructuring of the National government to create the post of Prime Minister and two deputies in addition to the Presidency.  

With Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) team about to give us its report, I think the calls are a thinly veiled harbinger of part of the BBI’s mission; to call for a referendum to amend the Constitution to, among others, expand the Executive for inclusivity.

If this proves true, then BBI would go down the history as a glorified act of window dressing aimed at hoodwinking Kenyans into supporting a premeditated referendum to benefit a few at the expense of an already overburdened lot. 

It is also fair to assert that President Uhuru has no intention of keeping his promise to his deputy on political support in the forthcoming elections. The gentleman’s agreement that Uhuru would head the government for 10 years then support his deputy to succeed him was a fat lie  Ruto fell for.  

From the look of things, Uhuru saw the UhuRuto union as a tool he could use to become the President and defend his presidency. Having secured his second term, both Jubilee Party and his deputy Ruto -apparently- became politically expendable. 

If the betrayal by Uhuru leaves Ruto’s presidential ambitions for 2022 precariously hanging on the edge of a precipice, it is the regrouping of the political titans against him that conspires to send him more into a downward spiral and political oblivion. 

Ruto is outnumbered, outflanked and weakened. His close allies have been felled in the war against corruption leaving him exposed. His political nemesis has teamed up with   Uhuru to thwart his bid.

Should Ruto choose to take on the coalition, he will have a seemingly insuperable task. While he is a fierce, war-hardened general, whose wit and skill cannot be downplayed, maybe it is time he harkened to the ancient wisdom by Sun Tzu; “he will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight!”

Perhaps this is one of those battles he doesn’t have to fight. Maybe he too, should make amends with his boss and Raila and be part of the coalition for the much talked about inclusivity; whatever that is supposed to mean! [email protected]

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