RACE FOR 2022

Respect bishops, and slow down campaigns

In Summary

• Two men died in clashes on October 5 at a church function in Kenol attended by Deputy President William Ruto

• Last weekend the Kikuyu Council of Elders travelled to Bondo to endorse Raila Odinga for 2022

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the second National Prayer Service held at State House, Nairobi on October 10, 2020.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the second National Prayer Service held at State House, Nairobi on October 10, 2020.
Image: PSCU

Bishops are seeking to broker a truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto (see P4/5).

Fierce power struggles turned deadly on October 5 when two young men were killed in violent clashes between the Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions in Kenol, Muranga.

 

The state perceives Ruto to have started campaigning prematurely for the 2022 election and clipped his wings by sidelining CSs, PSs, and parliamentary committee members loyal to him.

 

For his part, Ruto feels cheated because President Kenyatta repeatedly claimed in the 2013 and 2017 election campaigns that he would support Ruto as his successor in 2022. Instead, it appears that Jubilee will support Raila Odinga.

Both sides are campaigning. Only last weekend the Kikuyu Council of Elders travelled to Bondo to endorse Raila for president. That precipitated splits among the elders. Now the Msambweni by-election is coming up.

Both sides feel aggrieved and show no sign of backing down. The bishops are right to be concerned and to seek to calm tempers.

Perhaps both sides could agree to go slow on their campaigns until mid-2021. That would give us a breathing space to concentrate on development.

Quote of the day: "Democracy is not a bottle of Coca-Cola which you can import."

Julius Nyerere
Tanzania's first president died on October 14, 1999