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February 21, 2019

UhuRuto ‘conflict’ may be about cash

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu. /FILE
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu. /FILE

Over the last week literally every media house has had a news item trying to unravel the new-look Uhuru Kenyatta. Around each of these stories there is usually the suggestion that there exists a conspiracy; one media house even suggested that it is now no longer just a conspiracy but a secretariat; to undermine the Deputy President. I have been quoted quite liberally on most of these stories; usually with the slant that I am one of those who could be involved in such conspiracy.

The funniest thing is that in literally every public (and private) forum where I have been asked the question of my relationship with Ruto, I have stated that I genuinely have absolutely nothing against the DP. This is a fact. I have at no single moment ever suggested that any of my public positions are about stopping Ruto from being President in 2022.

I always state — very firmly — that I just do not believe that this is the time to be having 2022 conversations. Even I cannot have such conversation on my own personal reelection ambitions. It is too soon. It is also disrespectful to the Kenyan voter and any incumbent. This is my personal opinion, however. I could be wrong.

But this conspiracy theory introduces something.

It is public knowledge that immediately the President got reelected in August 2017, he requested all his political allies to immediately cease politics, unite the country and support him to secure his legacy. Our Judiciary then took us back to political campaigns until October 2017. However, immediately we were done with that Uhuru reiterated his position. No politics until 2021. Let us work for the Kenyan people and implement what we promised them in 2017. Then we can ask for their votes for the next election with something to show since the last election.

The conspiracy theorists are therefore introducing the question why the ‘President’s Men’ would choose this environment to politically fight his principal assistant. The President has been clear on what he wants done. Anyone working for him — or around him — is in their position because they add value towards his achieving what he wants done. This also means that no one can work around him — or be around him — if they are trying to undermine his clear agenda and direction.

If this happened heads would roll or at the very least the President would indicate publicly some dissatisfaction with the people around him, especially if they were going after allies working towards his success. No one can therefore undermine anyone working with the President to achieve his legacy agenda and get away with it because they would then be directly undermining the President.

But people around the President will instinctively, naturally, and by legal obligation fight against anyone or anything that could undermine his ability to deliver on his agenda. This would then mean that if it is true that there are people around the President actively trying to undermine the DP; then the conversation we should be having is whether there are people working with and around the DP actively trying to undermine the President’s work. It is the only logical reason for the President’s handlers to fight the DP and not incur their boss’s wrath.

But maybe there is another possibility. This is politics and we — politicians — are generally paranoid. In most cases if a close ally tells a politician a shadow is fighting him, the politician ‘facilitates’ said ally with resources to ‘fight back’. So the current situation could be all about money. Maybe we should figure out which side has people financially benefiting from the current situation.

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