Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta is not happy with Deputy President William Ruto. Sources intimate that the mother of President Uhuru is worried about the way “her son seems to be under the control of his deputy”, The Nairobian can exclusively reveal.
This was chief among the reasons she took a chopper ride to see retired President Daniel arap Moi at his Kabarak home accompanied by just two people. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Mama Ngina is concerned about Deputy President William Ruto’s issues that are clouding her son’s re-election bid. And with the August 2017 General Election campaigns starting to heat up, Mama Ngina is not leaving anything to chance.
As the former president and Uhuru’s mother enjoyed a meal of ugali and nyama, we are told, the issue of Gideon Moi, the former president’s son and a key player in the Rift Valley politics, was also raised. The meeting of the two elders comes in the wake of the younger Moi’s constant public face-offs with the increasingly garrulous Deputy President, who has had several run-ins with charged and angry crowds during his public rallies in parts of the country.
So important was the tête-à-tête between Mama Ngina and the man who eulogised her husband Jomo Kenyatta as “my father, teacher and leader,” that influential power brokers were left out of the meeting. Among those who were present but we kept out of the room were Zipporah Kittony, the former chair of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake, a powerful women’s organisation during the Kanu regime.
“Nobody was allowed in the meeting,” said our source. “The photographer and a Uhuru’s sister Kristina who accompanied the former First Lady had their meals served within the sprawling grounds of Moi’s Kabarak home, and was only allowed in the room for photo session. Mama Ngina thanked retired President Moi for standing with the first president’s family and for his support that spans over the years. She also asked him to help them fix the Ruto issue.
“Mama Ngina is not happy that Ruto seems to have a hold over her son, and seems not to appreciate who his (Uhuru’s) political ‘father’ is,” our source added.
The Kenyatta family matriarch has proved to be a silent source of ‘soft power,’ in a way confirming Kerwin Swint’s assertion in his book, The King Whisperers: Power Behind The Throne, From Rasputin To Rove, that throughout history, behind so many de facto rulers, there can often be found a shadowy master pulling the strings.
And Mama Ngina’s hand in how the presidency shapes up is gradually emerging in the run up to the August elections. Indeed, with niceties dispensed with, it was time to deal with down the elephant in the room: Deputy President William Ruto.
He is a political kingpin in the populous and vote rich Rift Valley, which Uhuru’s Jubilee Party will need come August. So, why is the Deputy President seemingly ‘fighting’ Gideon Moi, who is in Kanu and which is not affiliated to the Jubilee coalition? Won’t this rattling of Moi’s son force him to support the opposition’s National Super Alliance (NASA) and thus jeopardise Uhuru’s Kalenjin vote, yet Gideon is not running for the presidency?
That Uhuru should have Rift Valley as a bloc without Gideon and Ruto ‘dividing votes’ was Mama Ngina’s concern. There was also the small matter of the rebellious Isaac Rutto, the Governor of Bomet whose Chama cha Mashinani party could cause further vote losses in the South Rift for Uhuru - whose re-election heavily depends on the support of the Kalenjin nation.
So, we are told, Mama Ngina went back to the grandmaster of political chessboard, the professor himself, for help. Incidentally, Gideon Moi, the influential Baringo Senator, was instrumental in facilitating the modalities of the meeting, even dictating that no one in politics should be seen hovering around the home.