RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION

Ruto's attack on Tuju reveals hidden dictatorial instincts

Nothing in that justifies the attack, demonisation or threats on Tuju.

In Summary

• Ruto has turned into a political party pirate, waylaying, enticing and grabbing away opposition figures into his faction of Jubilee.

• Sometimes around 2008, he betrayed ODM and Raila and started flirting with a faction within the then ruling Party of National Unity.

Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto address the media at State House, Nairobi
Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto address the media at State House, Nairobi
Image: FILE

Deputy President William Ruto’s negative reaction to media reports that Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju is interacting closely with ODM and opposition leader Raila Odinga is the height of political bad manners.

The section of the media that publicised the Tuju-ODM dalliance may have exaggerated the matter or over-spiced it for their own reasons, but nothing in that justifies the attack, demonisation or threats on Tuju.

In fact, Ruto should be the last person to condemn Tuju. One, for being a worse culprit of the “mistake” and two, for being the principal assistant of President Uhuru Kenyatta, whom the Constitution compels to unite Kenyans and protect the Bill of Rights (freedom of association).

 
 
 

The President is also the anchor of an ongoing national reunification and political harmonisation programme.

 

It follows, therefore, that undermining the President’s mandate and the project is insubordination and abuse of office on the part of the DP. He can’t feign ignorance.

In this era of handshake politics and national regeneration, cross-parties’ leadership bonding and engagement are key ingredients, just as are ethnic and regional courtships geared towards promoting national cohesion and ethnic integration for harmony and unity.

Those opposed to this new reality that majority of Kenyans have embraced must be the real enemies of the people.

The country needs to profile and rehabilitate them even as we pursue the war against corruption and negative ethnicity.

This anti-bonding spirit powerfully reminds us of the delicate nature of Kenyan politics, which is ravaged by dishonesty and selfishness.

It also reminds us of Charles Njonjo’s favourite refrain, during his heydays that “politics is a dirty game.” Maybe true, maybe it is some wrong players therein.

But this latest barrage of condemnation by Ruto and his brigade against Tuju is one such loud reminder that Kenyan politics is a dirty game indeed.

 
 
 

It is sickening and discriminatory for the DP to ridicule his party secretary general as wayward and undeserving to continue holding the strategic top office.

His henchmen have followed queue and castigated Tuju as Jubilee’s enemy within, a traitor and a destructive element. They have called for his immediate resignation or sacking and expulsion from the party that propelled the DP and his boss, President Kenyatta, to power in 2017.

Even if some Kenyans may want to give the DP some benefit of the doubt and allow him to torment the former Rarieda MP for associating with elements in the opposition and Raila, Ruto’s hypocrisy and bad manners when it comes to matters party discipline should be paraded for all to see. He should be reminded in no uncertain terms that he is worse than Tuju in this regard.

 
 

Sometimes around 2008, he betrayed ODM and Raila and started flirting with a faction within the then ruling Party of National Unity, for which he was sponsored to oppose the 2010 Constitution referendum when Raila and ODM backed it fully.

Nobody expelled him from ODM.

Fast forward and Ruto has turned into a political party pirate, waylaying, enticing and grabbing away opposition figures into his faction of Jubilee without blinking an eye. Key examples of his fruits from this piracy include ODM official and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and immediate former Ford Kenya deputy party leader Boni Khalwale.

There is also the case of Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi and Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok. Of course plus scores of others he has courted and won on his side to play his tune, which mainly involves being his sycophants and court jesters ahead of 2022.

With his well-known crusade to raid other parties for disciples, campaigners and supporters, Ruto must be taking Kenyans for fools that he can erupt with anger and purport to reprimand and castigate any other Jubilee official or member who dares associate with other parties. And vice versa.

Is the DP shamelessly telling Kenyans that the right to associate with political opponents is his sole preserve? What type of entitlement and dictatorship is that? Where is it anchored in the Constitution?

In the light of this open case of political intolerance, Kenyans should wake up to the looming possibility of escorting a dictator to the 2022 presidential ballot. We should be very afraid! Our constitution has no room for dictatorship.

Kenyans want democracy and honest leaders only.

Bosire is ODM national treasurer and former Kitutu Masaba MP 


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