Close

ASSASSINATION CLAIM

Uhuru succession plot thickens

This is not the first time the ambitions of a Vice President are threatened

In Summary

• CSs may not have the audacity to conspire to murder, literally, a person above their status. To do so would be punching above their weight.

• Their supposed victim is a highly guarded public officer.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto
FIRM FRIENDSHIP: President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto
Image: FILE

There is a loud statement in the ruckus in the presidency. The meaning is not in what the Jubilee principals, and their allies, are saying. There is a subtext in the riot of emotions.

The plot is thickening. It may not be assassinations, violence or anything close. It’s about sympathy, power and presidential succession. There is restlessness in the once Jubilant Jubilee. The bond that bound the presidential twins has snapped. Now, President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto are grazing on different grounds.

   The dominant news of the last 10 days — the alleged threats on the life of the DP — begs more questions: Which aspect of Ruto’s being is threatened? This is not the first time the ambitions of a Vice President are threatened. But it is the first time the public is hearing about a plot to assassinate a presidential partner. The falling out is loading.

CSs may not have the audacity to conspire to murder, literally, a person above their status. To do so would be punching above their weight. Their supposed victim is a highly guarded public officer.

   The conspirators would need a detachment of the defence forces to execute their misadventure. In which case, the disenchanted ministers would be agents of a bigger force. No such super force, with violent ideas, may exist above team leader CS Peter Munya. His co-voyeurs are innocuous technocrats in the Jubilee regime.

   And, the suspects would not be discussing such conspiracies in a public rally. These people can sing. One of them is alleged to have belted out an anonymous letter that is the subject of international investigations.

   The DCI and DPP have recused themselves on this one. They have been accused of partiality before. The FBI have reported been co-opted to unravel the authors of an anonymous letter to the President.

   The suspect CSs admit they have been meeting at Hotel La Mada to “shore up support for the President in the Mt Kenya region and its diaspora”. Does this endanger the political ambitions of anyone?

There are issues around the Jubilee marriage, but the pending divorce can be handled in a better way. The DP’s courtiers better remember this: Regimes have always played god with their beneficiaries. Regimes can fatten then sacrifice children of patronage when they deflate the incumbent’s vanity.

   Stars are bright, but they do not appear in the company of the sun. The stars of the late Prof Josephat Karanja and the late Prof George Saitoti shrivelled when the Moi regime spurned them. The same system had fattened them for sacrifice.

   Karanja was Mathare MP and VP when the system engineered his ignominious exit. A nondescript motor mechanic, the late Kuria Kanyingi, from Limuru, Kiambu, was used to dim Karanja’s star. The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi found the conspiracy intellectually demeaning.

   Another minion, the late David Mwenje, then Embakasi MP, was co-opted into the cast to humiliate Karanja from the presidential pedestal. They alleged Karanja was playing ‘acting President’ when Moi was abroad. It was claimed Karanja was forcing other party hirelings to kneel before him for favours.

When the conspiracy matured in Parliament in 1989, Karanja said, “Common decency has escaped through the window”. Karanja did not build his own turf outside the Moi patronage. He was brought in after the 1988 General Election. He was fattened to cool tempers among the Kikuyu, after Mwai Kibaki was ejected from the Vice Presidency.

   Saitoti was VP and Kajiado North MP when his mentor President Moi threw him under the bus. Friendship and shared party loyalty could not save Saitoti. Saitoti was Moi’s political son. But he was told the presidency was way beyond his depth. The man who would be President Mwai Kibiaki was rejected by the Moi system. He defied, built his base, and arrived at the presidency 12 years after the spurn.

Kibaki treated his VP Kalonzo Musyoka in the same way, without any riotous claims of assassination plots. Power clowns should spare the public the succession drama. Former presidents had better ways of skinning cats, without raising plots of a criminal hue.