As the country marks one year since the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto’s allies are yet to accept and embrace the deal. To them, the deal was not intended to heal the wounds inflicted by the hotly contested presidential elections held in 2017.
Rather, it was a well-calculated strategy aimed at scuttling the DP’s ambition of succeeding President Kenyatta. These arguments do not hold water. It is worth recalling that the two leaders agreed to bury the hatchet at the most critical time.
The rising political temperatures had taken a turn for the worse. This rekindled the sad memories of the 2007-2008 post-election violence when more than 1,000 Kenyans lost their lives and properties worth billions of shillings were destroyed.
On various occasions, Uhuru and Raila have responded to the concerns raised by DP’s allies, each emphasising that the handshake has nothing to do with 2022 succession politics. But the DP has been blowing hot and cold.
Sometimes he says that he fully supports the unity deal but in other occasions, he engages Raila in no-holds-barred attacks. In his latest attack, he claimed that Raila wanted Jubilee to fail so that he could use this as a weapon to discredit “our leadership” in 2022.
When he hit out at Raila, the DP made an interesting comment: “If I had a problem with Raila, I would not have supported him to become the President of Kenya. Many believed he was referring to the 2007 General Election when Ruto firmly rallied behind Raila’s candidature. So, when did the DP realise Raila is a political fraud?
Joseph Mutua Ndonga is a Political Analyst and Blogger