POWER PLAY

It's time for Uhuru to politically neuter DP Ruto

All Uhuru has to do is unleash the DCI and the DPP on those who have committed economic crimes as individuals or collectively as brown bag recipients and throw them to jail

In Summary

• To be sure, the idea of using power to vanquish or punish enemies or reward cronies has been around for as long as political power has been around.

• Uhuru reclaiming the power he lost to Ruto is equally easy and, to some extent, he has made good progress in doing that, thanks largely to Raila and the handshake.

Deputy President William Ruto during a tour of Kisauni, Mombasa county, June 10, 2018.
Deputy President William Ruto during a tour of Kisauni, Mombasa county, June 10, 2018.
Image: DPPS

The accidental US President Donald Trump openly expresses his admiration for dictators such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and he no doubts wishes to become one himself.

He is, however, reminded that’s just not possible under the US Constitution—and thank God for that for he would have antagonised the country beyond what he has done were there no checks and balances on his presidency.

 

So, frustrated with this stark reality of life, Trump has opted for the next best thing for him and that is using his office to punish his enemies and reward his cronies to the extent that he can get away with it.

 

To be sure, the idea of using power to vanquish or punish enemies or reward cronies has been around for as long as political power has been around: It’s the subtility, cleverness and depth of exercise of this age-old power play that makes it noble or extremely dumb.

The recklessness with which the likes of Trump are abusing the phenomenon may as well be their undoing as one Richard Nixon found out when his abuse of power became too much, and he was booted out of office, avoiding jail only because his successor spared him.

AMASS POWER

The other extreme of this power equation is equally undesirable. You cannot wield power and have it go stale or allow it to happen organically or even worse, at the behest of others whose motives you have no idea about or how they're using the power.

That’s just as dangerous because, in the hands of the wrong people, they can amass power to a level that they will not only render you irrelevant but also use it to punish their enemies while rewarding their friends and cronies as you haplessly look on.

That can’t be good for you, the leader, or the country you lead.

Yet, this is precisely what appears to be our situation, in as far as President Uhuru Kenyatta allowed his deputy, William Ruto, to only to amass power during their first term in office but to also make him believe and behave as if there’s little Uhuru or anyone can do to derail his presidential ambition.

 

He would have a point except in politics, a day can be a lifetime such that were Uhuru to play his cards right — and he must for the sake of self and country — he can reclaim his power and influence while simultaneously declawing Ruto’s grip on certain key individuals and groups.

 

Doing the latter is a no brainer. All Uhuru has to do is unleash the DCI and the DPP on those who have committed economic crimes as individuals or collectively as brown bag recipients and throw them to jail.

Uhuru reclaiming his power he lost to Ruto is equally easy and, to some extent, he has made good progress in doing that thanks largely to Raila Odinga and the handshake.

Uhuru has finally come to realise what many of us saw earlier that letting Ruto act as co-president was a mistake.

On the other hand, Uhuru having Raila on his side in implementing the Building Bridges Initiatives is not only good for both but also for the country to the extent the togetherness has brought stability and is laying the foundation to ensure we no longer have political uncertainties, chaos and deaths in each election cycle, beginning with 2022.

Those opposed or scheming against the Building Bridges noble objective can only be for the opposite. I, therefore, urge the President to use all the arrows in his quiver to politically shoot each one of these conniving characters down and render them impotent to effect any of their schemes.

It’s what the country needs.


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