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Politics
Uhuru's pledge to back DP meant to honour 2013 pact
By Joseph Mutua | Updated Mar 23, 2016 at 07:53 EAT

A few days ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto toured the counties of Baringo, Nakuru and Nyandarua where they commissioned various development projects.

During the tour, President Kenyatta reassure the residents that he was committed to working and sticking with his deputy to the end. He recalled that he Jubilee coalition was born during a mammoth rally held at Nakuru’s Afraha Staduim ahead of the 2013 General Election.

Turning to the pre-election Jubilee manifesto, Uhuru noted that his Government has made great progress in the implementation process. He said he had no doubt Kenyans would re-elect him to complete his second and last term in office in 2017’s poll.

One thing that would not escape my mind is the timing of Kenyatta’s message of support for his deputy. It comes at time when a cross-section of Kenyans believe that Ruto is facing a growing rebellion in his political stronghold. They cite the outcomes of the two by-elections that were held in the region earlier.

In Bomet County, a candidate sponsored by Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) lost the Nyangores civic seat to the one fronted by the Governor Issac Ruto. But in Kericho County, the DP personally lead the campaigns to recapture the senatorial seat, which fell vacant after Charles Keter was appointed to the Cabinet.

The DP proved that he was still the kingpin of the Kalenjin after he successfully campaigned for the Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) candidate, Aaron Cheruiyot, despite the stiff challenge he faced from Kanu.

Indeed at some point during the campaigns, political watchers held that it was hard to predict who would emerge the winner. Kanu had fielded former minister and MP for Bureti Paul Sang.

In the 2013 polls that catapulted Ruto and Uhuru to the helm, the Rift Valley region voted to the last man in support of the Jubilee coalition. Given the present scenario, it is un-strategic to hold that this region is still under URP’s lock and key.

So moving forward, one would expect the DP and his team to go back to the drawing board and find out where the rain started beating them.

During the campaigns, the people of Kericho raised numerous concerns saying they felt the DP had abandoned them or rather he was not doing enough to tackle the myriad of problems facing them.

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If the DP hopes to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022, he must start working and interacting directly with members of the community.

It is hard to achieve your political dreams if you do not enjoy the support and blessings of your tribe. As things stand now, it is hard to change this mindset in the near future.

The President and his deputy have however spared no efforts in trying to address this challenge. One of the strategies is to push for the dissolution of tribal and regional parties and form strong national parties. This explains why UhuRuto have been pushing for the dissolution of all Jubilee affiliate parties.

 For now, we have no doubt President Uhuru Kenyatta’s remarks in Nakuru came from the bottom of his heart.

 

We know he has all along worked closely with his deputy on matters of national importance and launched a vigorous campaign to have the case facing his deputy at International Criminal Court (ICC) terminated.

Yes, our wish is to see DP Ruto overcome the hurdles and reclaim the popularity which he enjoyed in South Rift and North Rift. But if the efforts fail, then he is likely to face an uphill task in his bid to succeed Kenyatta.

{Joseph Mutua, Nairobi}

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