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2022 POLITICS

Uhuru, Raila must counter Ruto before it's too late

Ruto must believe he has made sufficient inroads into Uhuru’s backyard.

In Summary

• Ruto must have reason to believe he has enough dough to line their pockets to do as he pleases come 2022.

• The DP must be content, given that presidential elections are won or lost not by votes cast, but at the counting.

DP William Ruto when he hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga at his Karen residence in Nairobi.
DP William Ruto when he hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga at his Karen residence in Nairobi.
Image: FILE

While everyone was asleep, starting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto was busy scheming and plotting his political future beyond the 2017 elections, which were a given, as far as Uhuru and Ruto were concerned.

Put another way, that Uhuru and Ruto were to be sworn again after 2017 was never a question in their minds, nor was it a question among their supporters, especially those who made them. The only unknown was how many people would be dead, how much blood would be shed and how much property would be destroyed following yet another stolen election.

The answer was, and measures were put in place, to ensure that when the violence broke out, it would be met in the guise of traditional 'law and order', as opposed to acts constituting crimes against humanity. We’d been there before and nobody would dare again, let alone Uhuru and Ruto.

 

Instead, Jubliee’s accepted the Supreme Court’s historic decision nullifying the August presidential elections. Had there not been 2007, 2017 would have become 2007-08, with the President rejecting the court decision and even rounding up the justices and throwing them to jail and all hell breaking loose.

Fortunately, Uhuru and his backers' restraint informed by the ICC led to the tactical advantage over Raila and ODM who made the historic error of boycotting the run-off elections, paving the way for Uhuru and Ruto being sworn in for the second term.

The only question that remained was what to do with Raila and the answer came by way of the surprise handshake. History will show it came about not by accident, but due to both Uhuru and Raila getting their marching orders from the powers that be. Recall that this happened soon after Raila’s visit to Chattam House.

While all this was going on, several things had already happened that have a direct bearing on what’s going on right now: First, Ruto used his money and sway to have many of his allies rigged into various elective offices in the August elections, especially those from Mt Kenya region.

Second, prior to the elections and practically from the day of being he was sworn in as Deputy President in 2013, Ruto was busy trying to keep the ICC hangman at bay. Meanwhile, he was aggressively amassing cash and power by ensuring his cronies were given strategic and plum positions in government.

Third, not uncharacteristically, Uhuru in the first term took Ruto as his buddy who meant nothing but brotherly love, when no doubt Ruto was only interested in paving his own path to State House in 2022.

Uhuru was just a stepping-stone.

 

Indeed, so much so that Ruto must have believed and still must believe that Uhuru would be and is in his mind a lame-duck president who could not possibly have an impact either way on Ruto’s presidential prospects.

In particular, Ruto must believe he has made sufficient inroads into Uhuru’s backyard and even deep into his own home to the point that he doesn’t need Uhuru or the state machinery. Ruto must have reason to believe he has enough dough to line their pockets to do as he pleases come 2022.

In other words, Ruto must be content, given that presidential elections are won or lost not by votes cast, but at the counting. Then surely nobody can stop him because he believes he has what it takes to corrupt the vote counters to declare him President when the votes are not counted as they should be.

The only thing Ruto must do is to make sure Uhuru remains ineffective and not a force to reckon with. One way of ensuring that is to stir up discontent with Uhuru among not all, but enough Kikuyus to give cover and comfort to those who wouldn’t mind getting some of Ruto’s money to do his bidding come 2022.

This is a reality Uhuru and Raila must counter effectively lest we start practising saying His Excellency President William Samoei Ruto.

The writer is a legal analyst and political commentator in the United States.


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