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Theater of absurd as war in Jubilee goes to the presidency

By Jacob Ngetich | July 7th 2019
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto at a past event.

Although the next presidential election is in 2022, President Uhuru Kenyatta's succession battle has moved from the political rallies to right at heart of the presidency.
And as the troops beat their drums, spoiling for political war, the words of Irish poet, William Butler Yeats in his poem, The Second Coming, echo in the corridors of Harambee House in Nairobi, where 'the falcon can no longer hear the falconer' and things are rapidly falling apart because the centre cannot hold.
At the core of the succession battle is the allegation of an assassination plot of Deputy President William Ruto, which as Yeats wrote has "unloosed a tide, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence has been drowned."

At the centre of this drama is the communication unit strategist deployed as an expert in Information Technology (IT) whose exploits in 2012 election helped to deliver the presidency to what many skeptics viewed as improbable ticket.

Six years down the line the controversial Digital communication director Dennis Itumbi has taken the war to a new level which is threatening to dismember the presidency he so hard campaigned for.
The matter was further complicated by claims that three Cabinet Secretary and senior government officials are planning to harm the DP.

Itumbi who was arrested for allegedly publishing a controversial letter alluding to this plot has threatened to unleash the bombshell.

Going against the government code of conduct, he has publicly declared that he works with the DP although his designation is the director of communication at the President’s office and is supposed to have an office at State House.
“I currently serve as a State House director, Digital and Media communication at the office of the President, …. At the court’s wards I pray for courts help especially for my security. I take the view that the court is responsible for my health and security,” said Itumbi in his an affidavit to the court.

He added; “I fear for my life because the Director of Criminal Investigations and the PS are very desperate to have my help in saying there is no plot for assassination and or that it is based on an empty fake letter.”

Itumbi in his affidavit states that, ”I told my investigators that I have an audio and video material that could show that a meeting could have happened at.. Lamada where discussions were held on the possibility of assassination of a member of my employer, particularly the DP of Kenya.”

During application for bail on Thursday, he told court that he has tapes incriminating three CSs and some senior government over the alleged assassination plot.
Already, Itumbi true to the meaning of his name (egg), is already threatening to leave senior government officials, some of them his bosses, with egg on their faces.
The sensational allegations that Cabinet Secretaries Peter Munya (Trade), Sicily Kariuki (Health) and ICT's Joe Mucheru met at a Nairobi hotel to among other things 'plan the assassination' could be the last straw that breaks the camel's back in Kenyatta's government.
It is not clear if the President sanctioned the arrest of Itumbi.

Predictably, his arrest has muddied political waters with a section of leaders now saying he is a victim of political wrangles.

Already some Jubilee leaders including Nandi Governor Stephen Sang have called for the resignation of Mr Munya, Ms Kariuki and Mr Mucheru to allow credible investigations.

"How will the CSs seat in Cabinet with the kind of allegations, President Kenyatta should honourably suspend them to give room for the matter to be dispensed," said Mr Sang.

There have also been calls for Ruto to resign if investigations show that the assassination allegations were fabricated.

But before the thorny issue emerged, the political war in the party had begun and its apparent crumbling could hurt Kenyatta's efforts to cement his legacy.

Kenyan have lately being treated to scramble for various political groupings to drive the citizens’ agenda.

The March 9, 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga sparked rivalry in political camps although it was  supposedly meant to unite Kenyans and set the country on the path to economic growth.

However, despite embracing the handshake and preaching peach and unity, Kenyans are struggling to understand the agenda of Tangatanga and Kieleweke teams.

As confusion reigns over the groups, the President’s calls to have leaders focus on development agenda seems to be falling on deaf ears.

The Head of State’s efforts to unite the country are seemingly being downplayed by the very people who are supposed to champion the same.

The political bickering has emboldened the Tangatanga team allied to Ruto and Kieleweke supporting Kenyatta and Raila.

Also, women leaders are flying their banners with “Team Embrace allied to the President and Team Inua Mama, Jenga Taifa allied to the DP.

Apparently Team Wanjiku is also gaining momentum, led by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, Gatundu MP Moses Kuria and East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) MP Simon Mbugua among others, purportedly speaking for Kenyans.

Yesterday, they pitched tent in Gilgil and Kikopey after touring Ruiru, Athi River and Machakos.

"This is a purely people driven group. We push for the citizens plight," said Mr Mbugua.

Kieleweke was formed to counter Tangatanga, which was born out of Kenyatta’s criticism of his deputy's whirlwind tours of the country ostensibly to initiate development projects.

Ruto has often found himself on the receiving end over premature 2022 presidential campaigns to succeed his boss who had focused on building his legacy.

The President is seemingly a lone ranger as succession battle gets murky by the day.

The groups rallying behind the President, support his Big Four agenda and claim to educate all Kenyans why the country needs to remain united going forward.

Sonko has in the past few weeks criticised top government officials who have decided to out rightly ignore the President’s calls to stop politicking.

Kuria and Mbugua have joined the governor in advocating for implementation of the Big Four agenda for the benefit of Wanjiku.

They support the President and his working relationship with the opposition leaders in a bid to foster unity in the country.

Within a period of three weeks, the team has already attracted youthful and seasoned leaders across the country.

MPs Patrick Makau (Mavoko), Julius Mawathe (Embakasi South) and politicians Stanley Livondo, Reuben Ndolo and Kalembe Ndile have also joined the team.

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