•What we saw in Kikuyu is that the Deputy President was telling the President that he is not going to be cowed
•It is a continuation of the defiance and the ‘uta-do’ attitude that the DP has been having towards the President.
What we saw in Kikuyu constituency is William Ruto telling President Kenyatta that he is not going to be cowed.
Let us be honest, there are very many places that the DP could have chosen to distribute food.
He decided to do it in Kenyatta's backyard to send a message that he can go to the President’s backyard anytime, without his permission. This is a continuation of the defiance which, in sheng, they say: uta-do? (what will you do?). This is an attitude Ruto has shown his boss for a long time now.
He is telling his Boss: "You can take away my people’s positions in Parliament and weaken my allies, but I can still stroll into your backyard anytime I want and do politics there. I still have MPs more loyal to me than to you."
Ruto is leveraging what is called "poverty politics in Kikuyu", and Ichungw'a (MP Kimani Ichung'wa) is facilitating.
The people he gave gifts were clearly not needy. I understand they were leaders of networks that would then distribute the food elsewhere. This means he did not have to go to Kikuyu to distribute the food; they could have gotten the food from his office. But he needed to be seen in Kiambu, to send the message to Kenyatta.
The DP was reinforcing his Kiambu political campaign with food donations. This is the reason the food was branded in his name. This is what political candidates do. This was about "Ruto, the 2022 Presidential Aspirant", not Ruto the Deputy President.
If it was about the Deputy President he would not have branded the food in his name or gone to Kikuyu to distribute it. As DP he would have contributed his resources into the national emergency fund and allowed the state to distribute according to need. He needed to use the food as a political tool.
This is the reason he opted to hold the event in Kenyatta's backyard, rather than in his own backyard. It was a message. A challenge to the President. That I will bring the fight to you, and do it in your backyard. It was an act of pure defiance, and the message was "I might be down, but I am not out. And I am not done with you."
He is also telling Kenyatta he is still not ready to follow instructions. He will continue doing his politics regardless of what Kenyatta thinks. He is also telling Kenyatta that he believes he can create his own constituency even in Kiambu. This is why the food was branded in his name and Ichungwa's.
The DP is continuing to create his own profile despite the fact that, at this moment in time, we have a fund where donations of people of his stature are being channelled. The DP will not put his money in a joint pull because the money he is using to buy food is the same money he used to buy politicians, and to build his political network. That is the focus - the politics of it.
He is using these donations to continue his politics. This is why we saw it in Mombasa with Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, one of his allies. And we will see it in more places through his allies.
The Nyeri Town MP spoke to the Star on phone