A day before the Government launched the national digital registration, there were media reports that leaders from both sides of the political divide would take part in the exercise.
However, Deputy President William Ruto, who was to preside over the launch in Kakamega, gave it a wide berth. This brings to fore the question: Did he keep off this event to protest the involvement of opposition leaders?
Raila was in Mombasa, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula were in Muranga, Musalia Mudavadi was in Kajiado and the President was in Machakos.
After the launch, all of them were registered and given the Huduma Namba. It is worth noting this came in the wake of the DP and his allies piling pressure on President Kenyatta to abandon Odinga. The handshake between Uhuru and Raila, they say, is intended to derail Jubilee’s succession plan.
Already, there is a deal that the DP must succeed Uhuru in 2022 and so they will not allow anyone to come in between. When they talk about this deal, one would ask: Are they planning to force Kenyans to vote for Ruto? The previous reports have indicated the pre-2013 pact was neither written nor filed with the Registrar of Political Parties. Again, its contents have never been made public. Kenya is a constitutional democracy meaning the power belongs to people.
So, every five years, they participate in elections to vote for leaders of their choice. Therefore, if UhuRuto deal existed, it is not anchored in law. In the countdown to the roll out of digital registration, one thing was clear - there was a lot of misinformation and falsehoods being peddled about the exercise.
For this reason, the decision by the President to mobilise all the leaders to participate in the launch was noble and well-informed. It would dispel the fears and encourage Kenyans to turn in large numbers for the registration. Well, the DP was quick to dismiss reports that he boycotted the event, stating that he was held up in a State function.
On that day, he hosted the visiting delegation from Cuba. It is worth noting national events and State visits are planned in advance. Therefore, the Government was aware of the Cuban delegation, if the visit was official. As such, one would not have expected the President to assign him to launch the Huduma Namba. Instead, he should have allowed him to meet the delegation.
A friend told me the DP is on record telling his boss to avoid engaging the Opposition leaders when it comes to the implementation of Government initiatives. He believes the launch of Huduma Namba is one of them. So, by skipping the Kakamega event, he was sending a message to the President that he disagrees with him.