Avid Ruto critics have just one option left

President William Ruto interacts with construction workers during the inspection of the Ol Kalau NHC Housing Project. [PCS]

Adversity and destitution can be great teachers. Truth-seekers say when hit by a crisis, you should keep trying until you win – and it comes with valued life lessons.   

Actor Tom Hiddleston wrote: “You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything or nothing. Put a foot in front, and one day you look back and find you’ve climbed a mountain.”

And in a chart-buster book titled ‘This is where I leave you,’ novelist Jonathan Tropper says that “Sometimes, you’ve to look at what you have and stop measuring it against what you’ve lost.”

This week, I draw reference to these schools of thought given Kenya’s plight as a nation with a faltering economy that must make hard decisions to evolve. From my crystal ball, we’ve to make peace with Hiddleston and Tropper’s viewpoints. The sooner the better!

The ‘hustler’s nation’ has a bone to chew with President William Ruto. A few days ago, a damaging petition was filed at the Malindi High Court where ‘hustlers’ claimed he ascended to power through falsehood. They are demanding a Sh426 billion payout.

We oversold bare hope! The high cost of living is the new nightmare. Raw anger is spreading. Food has become a luxury. Today, a two-kilo tin of Omena costs Sh300 from Sh150 last year. Times are tough and unforgiving for Wanjiku. 

Then there’s the never-ending graft, income equalities, high taxes and fuel costs, unemployment and depreciation of the shilling. Yet, a big betrayal of our democracy is to blame those who voted Ruto. But that as it may be, what are we doing to keep hope alive in 2024?

Asked another way: What will we do, as leaders and citizens, to support Ruto to steady the ship?  

Lest we forget, vilifying Ruto and Kenya Kwanza to make them unpopular is futile. We must support the ruling camp to the tilt. No matter that pledges haven’t been met, extra distractions will be costlier. If Ruto fails, we all fail flat. If he succeeds, we make history together.

Bloggers, political analysts, Azimio chief Raila Odinga and his lieutenants like Opiyo Wandayi and Edwin Sifuna, who weaponize our woes to project Ruto as a failed leader and threaten demos have just one way forward – they must reckon that Ruto is in charge and patience pays.

It took Lee Kwan Yew 30 years to transform Singapore from a tiny outpost into an economic dynamo.  

At this point, let’s go slow on cynicism and allow creative energies. Ruto’s programmes such as the Universal Health Coverage and insurance reforms, cheap housing, green energy reawakening, search for ‘gig’ jobs abroad, digitalisation of services and visa-free entry deserve a leg up. 

On the other hand, this year President Ruto should exit the campaign mode and seek everyone’s input even if he has sway over all vital arms. He badly needs Azimio.

He can then break the jinx of unmet pledges that have defined our politics. He must succeed where his predecessors failed. But again, he must protect our taxes as if there’s no tomorrow.

Alike, Kenya Kwanza must shake off the eating elites and those who view the government as a share-holding enterprise.

Meanwhile, good leadership goes by humility. Saying ‘we won and you lost’ more than a year after an election is needless egotism. Ruto can bend the arc of history and carry everyone along in his agenda.

Let him name ‘corrupt’ judicial officials. He has Kenyans’ goodwill. Not naming them is akin to phantasmal pugilism.

Besides, Wanjiku is still waiting for action on those who allegedly caused ‘state capture’, planned to ‘overturn’ the people’s will, schemed to grab Galana and Kibiku land, and inflated bank interest rates.

This year, we can talk less, unite, reduce the braggadocio, plan better and bring back ‘Mama Mbogas’ and ‘Boda bodas’ to national discourses.    

The writer is a communications practitioner. X: @markoloo