Ruto should listen to Gachagua's cry and end wrangles within Kenya Kwanza


President William Ruto is seen off by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and other senior government officials at JKIA as he left the country for a 4-Day State visit to the United States of America on May 19, 2024. [PCS, Standard]

Recent utterances by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, and rejoinders from a section of Kenya Kwanza MPs point to the fact that all is not well within the ruling coalition.

Lately, Mr Rigathi has kept a low profile, skipping many State functions. More poignantly though, he was conspicuously missing from the group of leaders who welcomed President William Ruto back from his highly publicised US tour on Saturday.

A visibly irritated Gachagua over the weekend warned leaders from the Rift Valley to stay clear of the politics of Mt Kenya and concentrate on their jurisdictions. Unfortunately, the matter of regional kingpinships and the Ruto succession politics are hogging political space.

Young leaders who coalesce around the presidency and seemingly have the President’s ear, appear to be challenging Gachagua’s authority. It is this deliberate slight that has angered the DP and led him to demand respect and warn some Kenya Kwanza leaders to stop meddling in the politics of Mt Kenya.

The fallout within Kenya Kwanza is following a familiar script. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto took over leadership in 2013 with such unity of purpose it was admirable. From appearing in every public function together to putting on matching attires, the duo exhibited a presidency at peace with itself. Then things started falling apart.

In their second term, they could barely stand each other to the point their differences became public knowledge. Ruto never missed an opportunity to complain about being cut off from government affairs. The chasm between the duo widened so much, that two camps emerged within Jubilee, Kieleweke (supporting Uhuru) and Tangatanga (supporting Ruto) and polarised the country.

That difference birthed the unfortunate class division known as the 'Hustlers versus Dynasties' which, today, define Kenya. We are most likely going down that route again, which raises the question: What is Ruto doing to ensure Kenya Kwanza does not disintegrate or become dysfunctional barely halfway into his first term, the performance of which will determine whether he gets a second term or not?

For the country’s sake, Ruto should ensure Gachagua is not taken through the same ordeal that he went through. The duo promised Kenyans a paradigm shift in the management and distribution of the country’s resources and how the country’s leadership relates in order to unite Kenyans.

Emergent cracks within Kenya Kwanza are not good for the country. The country is facing a serious economic crisis that calls for unity, right from the top, to resolve. Besides undermining the economy, the unfolding wrangles are also a threat to national cohesion as politics of tribe and hatred takes centre-stage.

The country cannot make any good progress with this bickering that is detracting our leaders from real issues. Moreover, such bickering points to political instability that cannot inspire confidence in foreign investors. President Ruto should now crack the whip and call his troops to order. This is his government.

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