DP Ruto’s tour exposes his dwindling political fortunes

Friday, May 22nd, 2020 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto (left) donates relief food to less-fortunate.

Eric Wainaina @EWainaina

When he resurfaced in public on Wednesday, days after President Uhuru Kenyatta engineered a ruthless purge on his allies in Parliament, Deputy President William Ruto cut the image of a lonely and powerless politician despite being the country’s second-in-command.

   During the tour to donate food to the clergy at Ruthigiti PCEA Church in Kikuyu, Kiambu county, before visiting a water project and farms in the semi-arid Ndeiya village, Ruto was only accompanied by area MP Kimani Ichung’wa after local administration officials gave his visit a wide berth.

In an interview during the visit, Ruto recorded an interview at a vegetable farm, asking Kenyans to support each other during this difficult time when the country is grappling with the coronavirus pandemic.

 “Anyone who can afford an extra meal should make it available for their neighbour, for the person next door, and those of us who can mobilise support for families that do not have food, we must go out of our way because this is a very interesting scenario.

Not planned, no one expected it and we do not have statistics on what is going to happen in the near future,” Ruto said.

 This was a completely new picture of the DP, who in the past would attract a high-profile delegation of government officials and politicians while making even what would have been considered private tours, through which he would get wide coverage as he articulated government programmes.

Play role

Ruto has been growing increasingly isolated in government and politically and today, observers and leaders, including his allies who spoke to the People Daily yesterday said he no longer wields the power and influence he exercised before. 

 During Jubilee’s first term and early days of the current administration, Ruto had great influence in government and would issue directives to senior state officials. Today, not even county commissioners attend his functions.

There are claims that some civil servants no longer pick his calls or heed to his summons, a clear demonstration of his dwindling fortunes in a government he helped form.

Speaking to the People Daily yesterday, his allies painted a picture of a man who has been reduced to a pale shadow of his former self, saying he no longer plays any role in government.

Soy MP Caleb Kositany said it was in public domain that the DP no longer enjoys the trappings of power due to his office nor the kind of treatment he deserves from government officials.

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