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What exactly is Ruto, team up to?

By | January 12th 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

For a man fond of accusing others of party hopping, Eldoret North MP William Ruto has surpased the reigning record held by his nemesis, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

In a remarkably short period, Ruto has vacillated between Kanu, ODM, UDM and finally settled on forming his own – United Republican Party (URP).

Eldoret North MP William Ruto

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Ruto’s wandering is informed by an insatiable craving for ultimate political power and the fulfillment of dictatorial tendencies in which his views must reign supreme. These obnoxious advances were rejected, forcing his shameful exit from UDM, a party he had proclaimed to have technically moved to and hoped to commandeer without becoming a member and whose attraction for him lay in its proximity to his home turf and ethnic background.

This is an indictment on Ruto’s vision for a united Kenya. Ruto has succeeded in portraying himself as a sentimental idealist. We are out of the dark ages when mandarins bullied hapless Kenyans expecting them to behave with mechanical loyalty of robots.

Thanks to new laws, Kenyans enjoy more freedoms and are aware of their rights and choices. Politicians coalescing around Ruto have proved to be intolerant, lack humility, unforgiving, and their agenda is not issue-driven. They derive fetish pleasure from personality attacks and appeal to populism.

The formation of URP comes a little too late in the day. It is a party with questionable ideologies, hastily put up for purposes of convenience. It will be hard for it to organise itself into a formidable force in the time left between now and the forthcoming elections.

Cost of campaigns

This party lacks financial solidity to mount any meaningful challenge and if it has to depend on its leaders’ personal resources, it is a non- starter. Ruto’s net worth – information available on the net – does not exceed Sh300 million, an amount that can barely cover the logistical costs of a presidential campaign. Hiring staff and renting offices countrywide is a costly affair.

So, how does Ruto and his group hope to recruit members to conform to the Political Parties Act and have the requisite numbers?

Supposing their party registration is denied or delayed on a technicality, what will Ruto’s options be? Is he likely to make it as an independent candidate? Kenyan politics are such that people identify more with, and vote for political parties.

{Alexander Chagema, Kakamega}

My best bet is that Ruto is not a serious contender for State House. What we’ve seen from his action, words, body language and reactions leave a lot to be desired. He seems to be pushed by something and individuals who, in a way, are out to prove something to other people.

Rift Valley hosts the largest number of IDPs and it’s where the brunt of post-election violence was experienced more. The plight of these residents seem nothing to him and his brigades, who instead of rising up to the occasion, they are, for four years, still looking for who to take the blame forming committees, politicking and gambling with the people’s lives.

Truely, what Ruto is doing is what Raila was doing in the late 1990s up to 2002. He would be hopping from party to party when he’s not at peace with his rivals, he had his leutenants just like Ruto. He would come into coalition with other parties just to block others from rising and after succeeding, he decamps.

Such leaders have no agenda for the country and time is running up for them. Definitely, these are not the kind of presidents we need.

I’m convinced that Ruto is pursuing a different agenda.

{Adar, Kisumu}

The move by Ruto and his group to ditch UDM for URP is welcome. It has become clear some outside forces who were keen to ensure Ruto and his allies was locked out of this year’s presidential race were using UDM to frustrate his bid.

But the swift move to come up with a new party is commendable. It is the beginning of the end of UDM whose steady rise in popularity was due to Ruto’s tireless efforts. in popularising it.

{Joel Onyango, Kericho}

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We can’t ignore what’s happening in schools

Last year, a survey was carried out by Uwezo Kenya on learning in primary schools in Kenya. It culminated in a report entitled Are Our Children Learning? that painted a grim picture of the status of learning in our schools.

The report concluded that children were attending school, but they were not learning. By then, one could be tempted to dismiss it as an exaggerated presentation of the real situation on the ground, however, now the chicken have come home to roost.

Unfortunately, parents are waking up to the reality when the damage is done already.

The Government may have celebrated its success in establishing free primary education but, again, they popped the champagne too early. While FPE was noble idea in principle, the fundamental concern is the quality of education provided.

More factor to failure

The education sector has been bedevilled with myriad challenges, ranging from incessant protests, industrial action, ineptitude, corruption allegations, and poor management. Perhaps, the aggregate product of all this is poor exam results.

The purpose of an exam is to test learning, grade and rank candidates. Whether KCPE is an effective evaluation tool or not remains to be seen. When about 60 per cent of candidates fail in an exam, there is a possibility that either the test is faulty or the candidates were not prepared adequately or both.

We are used to statements like poorly set papers, exam cheating, exam leakage, poorly marked exams, but we have not witnessed this level of failure in KCPE in the past. Perhaps, this large-scale poor performance is culmination of what was observed in the survey last year.

Professors at the helm of the Ministry of Education should take responsibility and tell Kenyans what they are supposed to do with more than 400,000 candidates who failed last year’s KCPE and are likely to miss admission to Form One.

It is absurd that the ministry wants to extend duration of terms without considering the impact on children some of whom are in lower classes merely because he wants to curb cheating in exams, while he should be focusing on how to improve process of learning.

Why is the mass failure more in public schools than in private ones? The answer is in the proper management of education sector.

{Onyango George Otieno, Kisumu}

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Writer attacks baseless

My attention has been drawn to an article titled ‘Ruto route to State House rough’ appearing in The Standard of January 11.

The author, a Mr Joseph Mutua of Nairobi, was not only biased but also lacked facts.

Although every Kenyan is entitled to his or her opinion, it is also good for writers to be objective and fair in the manner they present articles on a given subject.

Yes, it is true the outcome of ICC might change our political landscape, but Mr Mutua’s argument that the issue is likely to jeopardise presidential ambition of Eldoret North MP William Ruto is baseless.

Going by recent clarification by ICC, it should have now sank into our minds that irrespective of the ICC ruling, any of the six suspects eying presidency can have their names in the ballot.

The strategies that Ruto and his team have crafted are just like what ODM did in 2007 and there is nothing wrong if the G7 group do the same. After all politics is a matter of planning.

After all, who among the presidential aspirants, including PM Raila Odinga and VP Kalonzo Musyoka, has a smooth route to State House? Mutua should give Kenyans reports, which reflect the reality.

For instance, claims that Ruto is not being accepted in UDM is just being ignorant of what is going on as far as party wrangles are concerned. Some outside forces are not happy with Ruto’s rising popularity and are responsible for UDM problems. It is because of this reason that Ruto and his team have ditched UDM for United Republican Party.

It is unfortunate Mutua dreams to ever see Ruto and his team back in ODM.

From the look of things, Ruto is determined to succeed Kibaki. Let’s give all aspirants time to try their lack.

Kimaiya Kirop, Marakwet


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