PARTY INTRIGUES

Ruto prepared to jump sinking Jubilee ship

He’s a student of the “Tinga Effect” on Kanu in 2002.

In Summary

• Only a person on a [political] suicide mission can dare take on his party leader publicly in the manner he has done and hope to survive.

• That Ruto is responsible for bringing internal party wars to the front pages of the media is as distasteful as it is uncouth at this time of the war on the oronavirus.

President UhuruKenyatta and DP William Ruto at the merger to form the Jubilee Party.
BETTER DAYS: President UhuruKenyatta and DP William Ruto at the merger to form the Jubilee Party.
Image: FILE

There are times you want to sympathise with Deputy President William Ruto but you never get the invitation.

Many people are put off by his often-outlandish displays of arrogance and brazenly playing the victim card under a false sense of entitlement to whatever he wants.

Take the case of proposed changes in the Jubilee Party. Only a person on a [political] suicide mission can dare take on his party leader publicly in the manner Ruto has done and hope to survive.

That Ruto is responsible for bringing the internal party wars to the front pages of the media is as distasteful as it is uncouth at this time of the war on the coronavirus. Decency requires the DP to attend to national priorities such as fighting Covid-19.

Civility requires that Ruto should have found something else to bring him back into the limelight after a lengthy disappearing act from the coronavirus war.

But not him. He chose his cavalier trademark approach of going public with the most frivolous claims, as long as it gets him political mileage. The timing was unfortunate because Ruto’s selfish political survival appears much more urgent than rallying efforts against Covid-19 pandemic. Where have his million-shilling donations gone?

Ruto’s mistake is not that he dared dispute. He could have gracefully raised objections through the organs of the party — he is its deputy leader —  as he is now politely advised by the Registrar of Political Parties.

He has advantages an ordinary party member doesn’t have. But his choice of social media, which lacks decorum, through which he dared his party boss, the President, to a virtual fistfight irritates and it irritates the party secretary general as well

Secretary general Raphael Tuju said he was shocked that high-ranking party officials had decided to use social media to prosecute differences in the party.

“The only matter of concern is that social media was supposedly chosen by some leaders to air their grievances while they do have at their disposal other internal channels of communication,” Tuju said.

The result is that Ruto has painted himself into the corner of appearing insensitive to the plight of Kenyans; his detractors arranged that corner just for him.

xxxxAnd it gets worse. By alleging that President Uhuru Kenyatta, the party leader, wasn’t complicit in what Ruto says, “If you aren’t the fraudster, then denounce the coup.”. He referred to Uhuru proxies as “political rejects, gangsters, crooks, conmen and fraudsters”.

In an actual sense, Ruto was rudely and publicly dressing down his boss, while presenting the façade of innocence and feigning to be a whistle-blower. He has been consistently on this page as an unapologetic oppositionist within government.

It’s now an all-out war and one centre must give in. I predict it will be Ruto.

Unusually blunt, all the President’s men have come out guns blazing that they are only messengers, doing Uhuru’s biding. That infuriates Ruto. It’s as if a trap set  for him worked marvellously – he walked in and got fixed. He can only jettison Jubilee to nurse his wounds.

But hubris isn’t a talent you can deny Ruto. It is apparent that his social media rant took meticulous planning on a scenario board. The avalanche of instantaneous mobilised rebellion through hundreds of letters, including 146 MPs, to the Registrar of Political Parties, obviously took thorough execution.

Ruto may have finally decided to slowly puncture Jubilee while he nurses a fallback party.

That’s why pundits may be way off the mark on Ruto’s intention. It’s not that Ruto’s basic instinct seeks to salvage the Jubilee Party as his 2022 political vehicle. His sojourn could be served if he were to create as much hiatus and constipation in Jubilee and then abandon the shell.

He’s a student of the 'Tinga Effect' on Kanu in 2002. His could be a plan to torpedo  Jubilee to smithereens so that its ruins cannot be rehabilitated by anyone else and used to challenge him in 2022.

Ruto’s mien in confrontation with Uhuru reveals he has decided to throw away the baby with the bathwater. The defiance points to a man ready to jump ship and the time is now.. He will not wait to be shuffled out.

Unleashing his allies to dare Uhuru directly shows the die is cast. Yet he won’t resign and expose himself as an immobile target. He will stay put to sink Jubilee first.

I predict Ruto has a party to which his cohorts will retire to after demobilising Jubilee. Insolent Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen lectures the President in demeaning terms – “functional dictator” - though Uhuru is his boss in government and party.

Soi MP Caleb Kositany and Jubilee deputy secretary general nuances achieve the same effect, contempt for the President.

Right on cue,  Ruto retainers from the Mt Kenya region have thrown caution to the winds and are unrestrained in barking at their party leader and electoral benefactor. All that goes to unleash an orchestrated mass exodus from Jubilee by the Ruto wing.

Not that it matters. Little birds whisper Jubilee remnants are plotting an ODM-plus-others merger. It’s a matter of who blinks first.

Kabatesi is a political communication consultant