Exiled controversial lawyer Miguna Miguna (pictured) has spoken out about President Uhuru Kenyatta’s inner circle reported unease with his deputy William Ruto, as well as Raila Odinga’s plot to counter Moses Wetang'ula and Musalia Mudavadi.
The accounts in his new book offer a glimpse into the fierce 2022 succession politics that have taken a new dimension after Uhuru’s deal with Raila, which is viewed with suspicion by Ruto.
Miguna quotes conversations with Uhuru's close advisers in which he claims that Uhuru has 'mortal fear of Ruto and alleges a scheme to push out the DP in the middle of Uhuru’s second term as a casualty in the war against corruption.
In excerpts from his new book – Treason: The Case Against Tyrants and Renegades, the boisterous lawyer claims there is determination by powerful individuals – allegedly enjoying tacit support and blessings of Uhuru – to block Ruto from ascending to power.
The accounts come on the backdrop of current jitters within the ruling coalition by MPs and leaders allied to Ruto.
Miguna alleges a scheme to 'weaponise' the war against corruption, ensnare Ruto and his close allies in government, before ultimately bundling him out as Uhuru’s deputy.
“During the Serena Hotel meeting, I also disclosed to Raila that Uhuru Kenyatta's inner core....I told Raila that Uhuru planned to kick out Ruto from Jubilee and government towards the end of their tenure. Their scheme was to fight Ruto at two fronts,” says Miguna.
He alleges the first scheme was to 'choreograph a fake fight against corruption'.
“The idea was to weaponise the fight against corruption and use it to undermine, sabotage and attempt to destroy their perceived, or real, political enemies, including Ruto, before removing him (Ruto) as Uhuru’s DP.
“Uhuru’s senior political advisers were determined to stop Ruto from becoming President. They were doing all that with Uhuru’s tacit support. Wanjigi, too, had shared with me stories of Uhuru’s mortal fear of Ruto – quite literally,” says Miguna.
Although businessman Jimi Wanjigi has since fallen out with Uhuru and Ruto, he was in the inner circle of the duo in the run up to the 2013 polls and at one point disclosed how he hosted both leaders at his Muthaiga home.
Former Jubilee vice-chairperson and Uhuru close ally, David Murathe, has since come out publicly and vowed to do everything to block Ruto from succeeding Uhuru after his term ends in 2022.
He consequently resigned from the party position so as to assemble a ‘Stop Ruto Movement' in his quest to ensure Ruto does not become president.
“Nobody is saying the Deputy President should not be contesting. In fact, a lot of people are relishing that contest against him because they have loads and loads of stuff on him, which they are willing and ready to unleash.
"I have my own reservations. We had certain expectations about how the leadership should behave. We have seen how it has behaved. Some of us are generally scared; if they can behave like this when they are number two, what are they likely to do if they ever became number one?" Murathe said during a TV interview.
Ruto's allies led by Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen and a host of MPs from Rift Valley have made it clear they supported the anti-graft purge but only if it was not politically motivated.
Ruto’s camp has also cited sweeping arrests in perceived Ruto-leaning ministries where top officials were arrested at Kenya Pipeline, Kenya Power and the National Cereals and Produce Board and charged with corruption.
Another scheme to block Ruto, according to Miguna, was to start a campaign to change the Constitution to expand the Executive by creating a powerful prime minister post that would be assumed by Uhuru after expiry of his second term.
Already, the Building Bridges Initiative, a taskforce formed by Uhuru and Raila, is collecting views in which a majority of proposals have suggested expansion of the Executive by creating posts of a powerful prime minister and two deputies.
Uhuru has also said there was need to review 'the-winner-takes-it-all' structure of governance in yet a clear indication of his support to expand the Executive.
The book, published in Canada, further reveals behind-the-scenes intrigues surrounding Raila’s mock oath of January 30, last year.
It gives accounts of how Raila engineered the removal of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and an aggressive political onslaught against Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi as payback for skipping the Uhuru Park ceremony.
Miguna further reveals how Mombasa Governor Ali Joho, Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang’ and Kisumu Woman Rep Rosa Buyu, tried to convince him to swear in Joho as Raila’s 'deputy' after Kalonzo Musyoka allegedly chickened out.
“As Raila was speaking, Joho, Buyu and Kajwang’ were pulling my jacket from behind and insisting that I should swear Joho in as Raila’s deputy,” he writes.
“I told them that I would not do it because that was not my instruction.”
He further narrates how, while at Raila’s Karen home in the evening after the swearing-in, the opposition chief instructed senators George Khaniri (Vihiga) and Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) to spearhead an onslaught against Wetang’ula and Mudavadi both in their Western backyard and Parliament.
“Meanwhile,” he (Raila) responded, looking at Malala and Khaniri, one after the other, “We must replace Musalia and Weta,” he writes.
“You,” he said pointing at Khaniri, “You should replace Musalia and Malala can replace Weta at the Senate…”
“Call a press conference tomorrow and disown them as cowards for failing to attend the swearing-in. I can ask Dennis (Onyango) to arrange a press conference. Then start antogonising them with the people in Western….” Raila added.
“Yes, Yes, Yes …. We can do that tomorrow,” Malala said.
Wetang’ula was consequently booted from the Senate Minority Leader post and the seat taken over by Siaya Senator James Orengo.
Malala was awarded deputy Senate Minority Leader while Khaniri was picked to the powerful Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) despite his sponsor party, ANC, not qualifying for a seat. Wetang’ula later fell out with Raila over the ouster and denounced the existence of the National Super Alliance.
Miguna paints a picture of Raila as conflicted man, who publicly told his millions of followers that Uhuru and Ruto were illegitimately in office.
He recounts how when they arrived at Raila’s Karen home after the mock swearing-in, the opposition chief ushered them to a dining room upstairs where they found a large rectangular room with hundreds of neatly framed images of African leaders, including those of Uhuru and Ruto.
He says the pictures nagged his mind as they suggested that Raila had recognised the two as legitimately elected leaders.
“What do the pictures really mean? Why has Raila framed Uhuru and Ruto’s images if he is only preparing an office for himself, as the People’s President? Isn’t framing and hanging their portraits symbolise recognition? So, what was that oath for if not symbolically a total rejection of both men as holding public office illegitimately?”