Internecine wars in Jubilee and the newfound comradeship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and NASA leader Raila Odinga have complicated 2022 succession politics.
Caught up in this conundrum is the Deputy President William Ruto, who was thought to be President Kenyatta’s heir apparent, an arrangement his allies claim was reached in the run up to the 2013 elections.
But now the DP is walking a tight rope in the convoluted political environment.
From fighting for his space after the handshake between the Uhuru and Raila or resigning and walking out of government, the DP appears to have limited options.
Political pundits opine that the route he decides to take will have a direct impact on his chances in the Kenyatta succession politics.
Already, Ruto is shooting straight at his real and perceived foes as the war on corruption gains momentum.
Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen said “enough is enough” and they will not relent until the narrative that seeks to dampen Ruto’s candidature is done away with.
“We are aware that there are dirty tricks up the sleeves, targeted corruption investigations are part of them and we will not sit and watch as wrongs are done,” Murkomen said.
Notably, while addressing the faithful at the Africa Inland Church Kapngetuny, Kericho County, Ruto said that they will not allow people to create a narrative on corruption.
“We will resist and refuse and will reject any attempt by a people to weave together a narrative using political corruption propaganda,” he said. But just what are Ruto’s options?
Political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi advice to Ruto is simple: “He should not move to the right or left, he should just stay there, he is in his position by the merit of over seven million votes, he is not an invitee.” Ngunyi asserts that Ruto should do anything including fighting but from within.
Political analyst Dismas Mokua opines that should Ruto feel the heat and decides to resign, it will be a serious lapse on his strategy. “If he decides to quit, he may as well have kissed his presidential ambition bye, he needs to withstand all the pressure from inside,” Mokua says. But for Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny, it is time Ruto to bolt out of government. “There is not need of living a life of pretense, let him go and play the role of the Opposition and offer oversight to the government because he seems to be already out of the system,” expostulates Kutuny.
Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch concurs. “He (Ruto) should not hide the fact that he is fighting Raila and on the war on graft, he is fighting the president and he should leave the government and start his 2022 campaigns.”
But Belgut MP Nelson Koech says they are in Jubilee government as landlords and not tenants to be threatened with eviction. “Leaving Jubilee is not any of our options,” he says.
Sense of entitlement
If he decides to stay put in what seems to be a marriage on the rocks, a mésalliance of sorts, Ruto has to put up with an increasingly emboldened Raila who now enjoys influence in government courtesy of the handshake.
However, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu argues that the sense of entitlement of Ruto allies could see him lose Mt Kenya support base.
“Listen to their sense of entitlement and disrespect in their voice. The same thing you hear when Ruto, Sudi or Murkomen speak. It is astonishing especially when you imagine these people still expect to get Uhuru and his supporter’s to rally behind them in 2022!” he said.
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