Ruto is under siege but his men and women aren't helping him

President William Ruto. [PCS]

Following the relentless Gen Z protests, the clarion #Rutomustgo and subsequent reflections both online and offline on the possibility of this happening have taken many dimensions worth analysing. I begin with my position.

Barely two years in office, the Kenya Kwanza government has more tangible “outcomes” in campaigning for 2027 than in development.

It is beyond rationality to explain why a government that has just come to power will start roaming across the country instead of settling to exercise power and justify it is net worth. For that, any early election is most welcome!

But this is irrelevant today. Let me dissect the #Rutomustgo.

The internal environment of the Kenya Kwanza government is considerably toxic. When the Presidency (the office) speaks in tongues, you know there is a serious problem.

The President and the Deputy President calling two press conferences on the same day, a few minutes apart, from two different locations and emphasising different positions on a matter of national interest is historic.

The Presidency was reading from different scripts. While the President was visibly angry about “treasonous acts” his deputy was hammering away how the National Intelligence Service let down the President because it is poorly composed after it allegedly dismissed senior officers.

That was not all. The deputy not only reminded his boss that he is elected by Kenyans but, most importantly, that the Presidency has lost the plot that propelled them to power. The “Truthful man” repeatedly reminded us that he is the one constitutionally mandated to tell his boss the truth. And, he had some concrete examples: The slum dwellers whose houses were demolished were promised a Sh10,000 compensation which is insufficient and therefore unfair.

In addition, the public engagement notices that come from the Presidency's advisors are not only condescending and demeaning to Kenyans but also give a lot of mixed feelings about what they think of the very government they serve. This virus is spread across the people around the Presidency.

If the advisors want to support the office that pays them, they should be the friendliest people to Kenyans who question the government they serve. Ranting and dismissing people in the most derogatory terms may mean that they are happy to trigger anger.

Still, the internal environment to hold the Kenya Kwanza government in power at least up to 2027 remains wanting. The Cabinet secretaries and all the Executive honchos have been so mute since the protests started that one wonders whether they share in the pain of their boss.

One would have expected press conferences that provide justifications for the government’s record to date so that Gen Z can re-evaluate their understanding of what the government is about.

Instead, it is the Presidency that is struggling to defend itself in rallies. In the past, the few who have dared to explain the government's agenda in the media have not raised the reputation of the government. They seem clueless. Remember the Health Ministry's interns strike? The Junior Secondary School teachers strike? The fertiliser scandal? The edible oil scandal?

The Kenya Kwanza majority control in Parliament is part of its internal environment to influence policy and development. However, almost two years down the lane, no government agenda has come through Parliament that we, the citizens, can credit the majority wing of the National Assembly for.

There are no transformative ideas the government side of Parliament has generated. A government that came to power on a platform of fighting classism should have by now generated laws that concretely strengthen the economic empowerment of the poor.

The external environment includes how Kenya Kwanza relates with other countries to attract useful investments. The fruits of the many trips the government officials make have to be tangible. Further, relations with institutions such as the IMF and World Bank must have mutual benefits.

It is difficult to see how the Kenya Kwanza government would put its house in order if it has to outlive the #Rutomustgo clarion. Time is of essence yet internally the stakeholders are pulling in all directions.

-Dr Mokua is the Executive Director, Loyola Centre for Media and Communication