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SUCCESSION POLITICS

Finish Ruto now or he will be the next President

The President has been urging politicians to refrain from 2022 succession politics

In Summary

• Uhuru can announce today he has surveyed the field of potential successors and has concluded the only and most suitable successor has to be none other than Raila.

• President has got to either clearly show he wants Ruto to succeed him, or not.

Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the Jubilee Party manifesto at the Kasarani Indoor Arena in Nairobi, June 27,2017
Deputy President William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of the Jubilee Party manifesto at the Kasarani Indoor Arena in Nairobi, June 27,2017
Image: ENOS TECHE

No, it's not talking about assassinating Deputy President William Ruto.

The belief is the days of political assassinations are over and buried deep into our country’s history with the passing of the generation that believed in them.

That doesn’t mean political enemies — real or imagined — are also a thing of the past, far from it! Kenyans will continue to hate and vilify those they perceive to be their political enemies, but won’t kill or want to kill each other was in the past.

 

That’s what the handshake and the Building Bridges Initiative are about — gravitating away from political violence to finding common grounds to live with one another, even as we may disagree politically.

This campaign, launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, seeks to implement means of disrupting politics in Kenya as we have come to know it.

It means even the most pernicious hater of Raila accepting that, yes, the hatred may have been instilled in them by dint of happenstance or ignorance but the ODM leader is no less a human soul as they are but one endowed with leadership skills and political abilities few can match in our country today.

It means those who have ascended to power by trickery and other unorthodox means are not rewarded with more power to continue in their power and wealth accumulation at the expense of all other Kenyans not immediate and proximate beneficiaries.

Nobody knows where the country would be today wasn’t it for the handshake but we can thank God we didn’t have to find out for in the least, there wouldn't be the peace we have seen since.

Unfortunately, however, an unavoidable consequence of this development has been immediately casting the country into either a referendum mode (called for by Raila and the opposition) or 2022 election mode or both.

The President has been urging politicians to refrain from 2022 succession politics and reached the proverbial wits end the other day when he lashed out at those flagrantly ignoring his pleas for whatever reason and even disrespectfully so.

However, the reality is that 2022 succession politics is here and here to stay until resolved one way or another. There are only three ways to shut down 2022 succession politics:

 

First, Uhuru can announce today he has surveyed the field of potential successors and has concluded the only and most suitable successor has to none other than Raila Odinga. Will this be a surprise as he promised who his preference is? Yes.

Second, Uhuru can announce today he has surveyed the field of potential successors and has concluded the only and most suitable successor has to be Deputy President William Ruto. Will this be a surprise as he promised? Not at all; not even with the clear signals the president has already given Ruto is not his choice.

Third, frustrate Ruto to the point he’ll have no choice but resign and we’re here not talking about setting up Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to be the conduit for this only for Ruto to laugh him out as inconsequential and ignored him without any fear or concern.

Fourth, accelerate the referendum push, which must happen and let the outcome settle the issue as we’ll clearly know in advance who’s is to emerge victorious in the ensuing 2022 elections. That will have to be the coalition whose side wins in the referendum, keeping in mind collateral damage from the referendum will be Ruto.

The first, third and fourth options will, of course, politically finish Ruto.

The second or doing nothing will result in a Ruto presidency come 2022.

To be sure, Uhuru cannot try and have it both ways as he has been dilly-dallying. He’s got to either clearly show he wants Ruto to succeed him, or not.


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