Trying to interpret a horrible nightmare I had the other night

Some succession scenarios come with the feel of inevitability

In Summary

• The buildup to the 2022 election is as though the result will be a coronation of Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto
Image: FILE

I had an awful nightmare the other day. I dreamt I had been reading political news articles from across the globe, but the world had contracted some sort of zombie virus that had us all marching to our doom.

In the dream, something struck me about the manner in which it appears decisions are made in dim, smoke-filled backrooms, and we the voters had become the rubber stamps in the process.

Like a movie, my dream took me through flashbacks to make its point. For instance, it showed me that even before President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto had settled into their jobs back in 2013, it had already been decided somewhere that after a 10-year term, Uhuru would be succeeded by Ruto. 


Ruto would then rule for a decade. Nobody else mattered, nobody else would emerge as a Kenyan leader, and that succession plan was set in stone.

The 2022 election is still quite a way off, but already for many Kenyans, including some of their leaders, it as though the result will be a coronation of Ruto, and anyone who considers singing from a different hymn sheet is living in cloud cuckoo land.

The dream showed me that people who like to think that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are, have been dismissed as dreamers and naysayers for the sake of it.

In the same way, those in the British Conservative Party who dare imagine anyone but the buffoonish Boris Johnson becoming leader and eventually Prime Minister are probably banging their heads against a brick wall.

In the US, according to the dream, they are no better off. If we assume that the Republicans will stick with President Donal Trump as their candidate, that it would be a crazy historical decision to dump him and it would cause absolute chaos in the party — you’d think the Democrats would be focussed on looking for a candidate that could provide serious opposition. 

Instead, they look as though they want to tear their party even further apart with their menu of 24 candidates beginning to look somewhat like a Kenyan presidential election.

Of course, they will have to whittle the 24 down to one, but in the process, they will have attacked and hurt each other so much, while the Republicans look on and do nothing, that the eventual candidate will have a rough time against Trump. Which means the world may be stuck with him for another term.


The inevitability of the whole scenario comes from the fact that Trump and his supporters had long ago decided that “wembe ni ule ule”, as it were and the Democrats are helping by being split and indecisive on who and how to take him on. They want to go all intellectual and aim high, while Trump will win how he won the first time by successfully appealing to the lowest common denominator.

I am hoping it was just a nightmare and is only related to my wanting there to be less marching to our doom and more swimming against the tide.