Who will laugh last in Ruto, Raila power play?
SEE ALSO :Gender bill flops again, a fourth timeBecause these two men hold Kenyans in the grip of their politics, it behoves this column to hold them to scrutiny in the light of their backgrounds. Millennials would be forgiven for thinking that Raila’s political genesis was in the halcyon days of former President Mwai Kibaki’s Narc administration. Always bringing to the fore his credentials as a liberator from authoritarian regimes, little is shared about the chinks in his armour. For instance, although he is known as an advocate for the downtrodden, few know his background as a child of privilege, enjoying all the benefits of capitalism while propagating a socialist narrative. Fewer still, know of his propensity to rebel against establishment even if, for no cause at all. A story is told how in 1968, Raila, on a visit to Romania, defiantly refused to buy a visa and walked into Bucharest as an ‘illegal immigrant.’ Another whispered tale tells of his involvement with dissident elements in the August 1982 coup against the Moi government. But perhaps the most recent anecdote from this tireless defender of the rule of law is his curious attempt to swear himself as president of Kenya after the national elections of 2017. Ruto, on the other hand, is a self-made man who pulled himself by his bootstraps to become a part of the presidency. He has had alternate moments in the sun and shade. But he now comes across as one who has been used by successive regimes only for the value that he brings onboard as the de facto leader of the Kalenjin nation.
Unwitting serviceThe DP first came into national limelight during the 1992 elections where he, alongside other leaders, worked to ensure the win of former president Moi’s Kanu party. Subsequently, he entered Parliament as an elected member and stood by Uhuru Kenyatta when he lost the presidential contest to Kibaki. He was to re-emerge as a powerful minister in the coalition government of Kibaki and Raila. In a fallout, he would later team up with Uhuru Kenyatta, where he has helped him win the presidency twice. Even as Raila becomes the loudest traducer of the DP’s character, questions arise. Is the DP guilty of the malfeasance his detractors accuse him of? According to reports, one third of the country’s multi-trillion shilling budget is lost to corruption. Mr Khafafa is Vice Chairman, Kenya-Turkey Business Council