• President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila saw it fit to heal the nation's wounds by stepping outside Harambee House and shocking everyone with the now famous handshake.
• With that handshake, Ruto’s brilliant strategy to succeed Uhuru was dealt a fatal blow from which he cannot recover.
Deputy President William Ruto’s rise to the position he currently occupies has been nothing but admirable, even envied by some of his harshest critics.
DP Ruto did not accomplish this in a vacuum: There were prevailing circumstances that made it possible. Without them, we would not even be talking about Ruto as a politician worthy of note, let alone the political force he was a few years ago.
You would have to be in absolute and total denial not to see or recognise that Ruto has fallen from the heights he reached just before the 2017 elections and is now wobbling to survive politically.
A key prevailing circumstance that allowed him to brilliantly strategise and execute his succession game was President Uhuru Kenyatta having been completely aloof as to his machinations. The President and his minders failed to see the potency with which Ruto was scheming and executing his quest for the presidency.
The other circumstance was the belief among many, starting with Ruto himself, that then Opposition leader Raila Odinga had outlived his own political might and relevance.
This was particularly the case following the 2017 elections and after Raila was sworn in as the “people’s president”. Many, including his longest and staunchest supporters, thought that with the unprecedented move, the enigma had reached a dead end politically.
But President Kenyatta and Raila saw it fit to heal the nation's wounds by stepping outside Harambee House and shocking everyone with the now famous handshake.
With that handshake, Ruto’s brilliant strategy to succeed Uhuru was dealt a fatal blow from which he cannot recover.
To be sure, Ruto only had two choices: One, to embrace the handshake and try to see what crumbs of the food from the high table he could get, and two, to oppose it and take the system head-on.
The second option would have required that he resigns from the government — as well as from Jubilee—and say goodbye to his political ambitions.
Those were the only two, viable and realistic options.
Ruto, however, chose a third option that has equally negated his previously brilliant strategy. He did not outrightly reject the handshake, but he has continued his two-pronged strategy to (a) appear publicly in support of the President while coy about the handshake and (b) fuelling his foot soldiers to undermine the President and the handshake.
This was not wise.
The very foot soldiers are now Ruto’s own undoing, going by what they are doing.
One of them recently went on social media to 'toboa' (reveal) ostensibly Uhuru and his advisers’ strategy to contain Ruto, or in the minions’ words, to stop the DP from succeeding Uhuru.
They are also promising to reveal more of these internal deliberations at State House.
Someone tell them to stop for this simple reason: If the objective is to make Ruto a victim of machinations to finish him politically, that has not stopped those in power from targeting and politically neutering those they did not want in power, if not altogether having them breathe their last as used to be the case.
Indeed, the boldness with which some of these foot soldiers are going about fighting Ruto’s battles would have easily found the Ruto lashing out against them.
While dead bodies being found in places such as Lake Magadi is largely a thing of the past, those in power faced with the bare-knuckle challenge are not without less deadly means to inflict pain and suffering on those who dare them.
The wiser thing for Ruto to do is throw in the towel and beg for some crumbs in the new government formation, for no one can ever beat the system.
Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator