How Raila helped create UhuRuto pact ahead of 2013 election
December 9, 2012 remains an important date in the ruling Jubilee Party calendar. It is the day two unlikely allies entered a pre-election pact that would later morphe into the Jubilee Party.
On that day, at a colourful public rally at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru attended by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, their parties, TNA and URP, agreed to form a formidable alliance that would go ahead to win the 2013 election.
The ‘Uhuruto’ campaign revolved around a common denominator: Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, who the two partners wanted to block from power.
Yet, the man who brought Uhuru and Ruto together was yesterday being blamed for tearing them asunder.
Two years ago, Raila signed a political deal with Uhuru that many in the Ruto camp see as targeted to block the Deputy President from ascending to the presidency in 2022.
Ruto and his allies have objected to the March 2018 Handshake and accused Raila, who has increasingly warmed his way into Uhuru’s inner circle, of plotting to grab power through the backdoor.
And they blame Raila for Ruto’s current woes in the Jubilee administration. The kicking out of Ruto’s allies from key posts in the Senate yesterday was a culmination of deteriorating relations between the President and his deputy and marked the beginning of the end a political partnership that was celebrated at Afraha.
At a tense meeting at State House yesterday that was boycotted by Ruto and senators allied to him, President Uhuru orchestrated a major take-over of Senate, locking out his deputy.
“Do we have to be in government, can’t we be in opposition but with dignity? Let him go and form a government with Raila, which they want to form, but let respect prevail,” declared Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, a Ruto supporter. Ruto allies also appeared to blame Baringo Senator Gideon Moi of Kanu.
A debate has emerged in political circles that Uhuru is “grooming” the Senator for a significant political position as he seeks to tame Ruto in his Rift Valley backyard.
Just last week Jubilee Party secured a post-election coalition agreement which paved the way for yesterday’s appointment of Kanu’s Samuel Poghisio as Senate Majority Leader.
Ruto’s supporters recently asked the President to reshuffle the Cabinet and nominate Raila to the position of prime minister or chief minister if that served his interests, accusing the opposition chief of being used to torment the DP.
They spoke two days after Siaya Senator James Orengo, a Raila confidant, declared that he will introduce an impeachment motion against the DP.
The Ruto camp accuses Raila of using Jubilee vice chair David Murathe and Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli to wage a smear campaign against Ruto.
Commenting on possible political alliances early this month, Atwoli said all avenues were being explored to ensure “Ruto does not become the next President”.