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Has Uhuru and Ruto fallen out over 2022?
By Andrew Onsongo | Updated Jun 19, 2018 at 09:19 EAT
President Uhuru and DP Ruto in a past event

Now, the 2022 succession politics is already in gears. Some players like Ruto are already engaging gear 3

My observation is drawn to the relationship between the president and his deputy, in relation to 2022

Now, the 2022 succession politics is already in gears. Some players like Ruto are already engaging gear 3. My observation is drawn to the relationship between the president and his deputy, in relation to 2022. Is Uhuru keen on having Ruto heir to the residence on the hill as per the purported 2013 MoU? In my honest opinion, the two have literally fallen apart. The only thing holding them together is some vested interests. 

There are a few indications that all is not well in the erstwhile political buddies. The most telling is the apparent disgust of Uhuru toward his deputy. Most recent is the 'kutangatanga' jibe Uhuru used in reference to Ruto's penchant for crisscrossing the country. Whilst many, Uhuru's apologists and Ruto's defendants tried to sanitize the statement, it was clearly derogative. Come on! Uhuru is no novice in Kiswahili. He knows well the meaning of kutanganga. It connotes moving around in a negative light just like kurandaranda, kuzururazurura, or kumangamanga. 

Uhuru was clearly not short of better synonyms of positive such as 'tembeatembea' 'zungukazunguka.' But much telling is the preceding phrases which also connote an attitude of disdain. One such is 'huyu kijana.' Uhuru and Ruto are much more in the same age bracket and referring to Ruto as 'Kijana' does not leave a good taste in the mouth. Some may argue the 'kijana' wasn't offensive but communication experts will tell you the meaning of communication is in the context.

Another phrase Uhuru used was 'kazi yake.' We all know that phrase is usually used preceding something you detest. For instance, you cannot say to someone 'wewe kazi yako ni kuniambia ukweli' instead 'kazi yako ni kunidanganyadanganya.' 

Most recently, in Mombasa, in reference to the lifestyle audit, the president referred to his deputy as 'huyu.' This is a complete departure from the more cordial, diction the president has known to use especially in his first term.

Clearly, the choice of words Uhuru is using for Ruto insinuates some despise, disgust and disdain.

At this point, each needs other; but Ruto needs Uhuru more. Uhuru needs Ruto for government stability to enable him to realize his legacy. If Ruto were to resign, it would jeopardize stability in government which Uhuru badly needs in order to cement his legacy. But ironically, Ruto in a way seems to be an impediment to the legacy Uhuru so much wants, especially in the war against graft.

While still not proved, Ruto has been painted to be corrupt, with unsubstantiated information pointing to his hand or of his close allies in some recent graft scandals. It seems Uhuru won't chop the hands of graft decisively without chopping that of his deputy.

Ruto, on the other hand, needs Uhuru for his 2022 ambitions. He wants to seem to remain loyal to Uhuru in the hope that this will endear him to Mt. Kenya voters. He wants to stick through thick and thin so that if the fall outcomes, it will seem to have come not from him but from Uhuru's side. This scenario will earn him the 'more sinned against than sinning' status and he will use it to whip the Kalenjin block into betrayal feeling and galvanize some sympathy support from elsewhere.

More important note about Uhuru succession is that the president may actually have not all the say about it. It must be remembered that their own presidency was not all about them. In fact, at some point, they were convinced they could not run, let alone winning. Remember the Mudavadi MoU. A few brokers from Mt. Kenya and probably Rift Valley will decide in boardrooms who takes over and will effect it through the 'ballot hoax'

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