Inside DP William Ruto's power-sharing deal as Muturi joins Kenya Kwanza

Deputy President William Ruto with Kenya Kwanza Alliance coalition partners at his Karen home. [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto finally inked a power-sharing deal with his allies Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and the newest entrant into the alliance, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Inside the Kenya Kwanza Alliance power deal, Dr Ruto, Amani National Congress leader, Mudavadi, his Ford Kenya counterpart Wetang’ula, as well as Mr Muturi of Democratic Party will be equal partners. However, the government – if they win the presidency on August 9 – will be shared according to the number of senators and MPs each of the parties garners in the General Election.

The formula of the power-sharing deal was signed yesterday by the four principals, shortly after Mr Muturi’s entry into Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

The deal also stipulates that any member of the alliance has a window of 30 days from yesterday to decide whether they want to exit the coalition.

Speaking during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), Democratic Party Patron Joseph Munyao said his patty would remain distinct and would not fold up.

“We are going to be part of Kenya Kwanza so that we can share our opinions and thinking so we can move together. The alliance partners have 30 days to look at the memorandum of understanding, evaluate and tell us the way forward,” said Mr Munyao.

The Sunday Standard has established  that the alliance member parties will be signing a coalition agreement with other parties that they are currently wooing.

The document will later be deposited at the office of the registrar of political parties by May 9.

Dr Ruto said the signing of the coalition agreement and bringing Mr Muturi on board was a culmination of months of intense negotiations between the two teams.

The deputy president said Mr Muturi’s choice to join the Kenya Kwanza fray would bring onboard the economic conversation that was always championed by President Mwai Kibaki.

“The Democratic Party of Kenya has a rich history under the leadership of the finest economist Mwai Kibaki who left a robust contribution to date,” said Dr Ruto.

“Thus, it is with special reference to our third president whose forte has been the economy and it is instructive that this election is about the economy.”

Mr Mudavadi said Kenya Kwanza was welcoming other parties to the political outfit as it was seeking to be a coalition of parties and not a coalition party. “With the Speaker of the National Assembly now in Kenya Kwanza, it is a clear message to Kenyans that democracy cannot be undermined,” he said.

“We are also going to give those other parties an opportunity to have their identity and the deadline of launching our document is on May 9.”

The move by Dr Ruto to embrace DP seems, however, to be a deviation from his earlier stance of not working with fringe parties and preferring to have them dissolve to join his United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

His sentiments had attracted the ire of steadfast party leaders such as former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri (The Service Party) and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, who argued that the directive to fold up would not only kill parties from Mt Kenya but was also a move to stifle multi-party democracy.

But with the polls less than four months away, the need to break into rivals’ territories could have forced the DP to back down from his earlier position and embrace small parties.

This has now seen him work with fringe parties such as Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s Chama cha Kazi and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo’s Tujibebe Wakenya party, both of which have a foothold in the Mt Kenya region, where Dr Ruto has been making incessant trips with the objective of reaping majority votes.

In ODM leader Raila Odinga’s backyard, Dr Ruto has partnered with Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as part of a strategy to turn the tide on his chief competitor.

The signing of the deal between the Kenya Kwanza Alliance partners comes barely weeks after Azimio-One Kenya coalition party signed its agreement and deposited it with the registrar of political parties.

Share power equally

In their deal, President Uhuru Kenyatta, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Mr Odinga will share power equally if the latter wins the presidential election and forms the next government.

A “deed of agreement” signed by the three leaders shows they agreed to form a coalition party named “Azimio One Kenya” comprising three “caucuses” – ODM, Jubilee and One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu signed as witnesses to the agreement titled “Azimio One Kenya; A deed of agreement in respect of the Azimio One Kenya; being a coalition political party, focused on fostering national unity, inclusivity and prosperity”.

The deed affirms categorically that the parties to it will form a coalition government. It sets out four principles for the formation and organisation of the government.

The first is the national aspiration for inclusive, democratic and participatory governance. The second is equality and equity, including affirmative action among the coalition partners.

The third is utmost good faith among coalition partners and the fourth is adherence to the terms of the coalition agreement.