Opinion

Uhuru, Raila moves reduce Ruto to a political paper tiger

Uhuru, Raila moves reduce Ruto to a political paper tiger

By Correspondent

It is true the opposition is not anathema, but it is also right to say that there is pride and comfort to be  in government.

For over three decades, Mt. Kenya has been in government by virtue of producing three presidents for the country –Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta.

Apart from the 24 years when the late Daniel arap Moi was president, the mountain has enjoyed 35 years of real power.

In a move that has astounding political pundits, Mt. Kenya decided to forego fielding a presidential candidate in this year's election and tacitly decided to accord a chance to other regions as well.

If Rift Valley and specifically Kalenjins were to follow suit, Kenya would enter the political Guinness Book of world records for being the most ethnically considerate country in Africa.

People from Mt. Kenya should recall that during successive presidential elections, other regions have vehemently complained about the position of president being occupied by only two tribes i.e Kikuyus and Kalenjins since independence.

In fact, this has been fuelling an emotive campaign by the opposition and truthfully, it is among the reasons Mt. Kenya decided to forego the presidency this time round.

Nonetheless, by doing so, Mt. Kenya is expectant that the leading presidential contenders would nominate a running mate from the mountain.

That as it may, during President Uhuru Kenyatta's two terms in office, majority of people from the mountain became convinced that his Deputy, William Ruto will seamlessly succeed him.

However, people from the mountain received a shocker when it appeared Uhuru was reading from a different script on the succession issue.

Uhuru's non-committal stance and his dalliance with Raila Odinga after the 2018 handshake created a total mutinous confusion in Jubilee party and his Mt. Kenya political backyard.

The mutiny was more as a result of uncertainty as it was out of fear that Uhuru was backing Raila whom the mountain voters had been led to believe was politically  dangerous to their interests.

Sensing the opportunity, Ruto wasted little time to grab a chance to ride on the tide and launch a premature presidential campaign targeting Mt. Kenya region.

Not even Uhuru could stop Ruto from exploiting an opportunity that was so beckoning.

To say that Ruto had his sweet time in the mountain politically to the chagrin of President Uhuru would be an understatement.

Nothing Uhuru did could convince the people within the mountain that Ruto was not their man.

Ruto leaped big by bringing majority of sitting elected leaders within Mt. Kenya to his camp or so he thought.

By 2021, if you were a visitor in Kenya for the first time, you would think presidential elections were on top gear and the candidate to beat was, Ruto.

Meanwhile, as Ruto enjoyed his moment of glory, it appears Uhuru and Raila were working behind the scene to determine what could be politically salvaged after Ruto's onslaught in and outside the mountain.

The political situation became so dire for Uhuru and Raila, especially when other regions took the cue from Mt. Kenya and leaders started trooping to Ruto's camp enmass.

How Uhuru and Raila managed to outwit Ruto's camp particularly in passing crucial agenda in Parliament and the Senate, including the county assemblies remains a miracle.

Nevertheless, the passing by legislative assemblies of the now defunct BBI bill exposed the DP's soft underbelly making him look like a political paper tiger.

As recently as January this year, Uhuru and Raila executed masterstroke moves that caught Ruto flatfooted, one being the passing of the Political Parties Coalition Act.

As Mt. Kenya remained defiant, Raila who had held his cards close to his chest by staying clear from campaigns came out guns brazing and announced his entry into political competition and presidential race.

In well choreographed moves, a fire spitting Azimio La Umoja Movement appeared on the scene and strange things started happening.

Uhuru and Raila parties, Jubilee and ODM didn't waste time but moved swiftly to reclaim lost political ground outside Mt. Kenya.

By now Ruto realised his mistakes of taking Uhuru and Raila as well as political dynamics for granted but what could he do?

Ruto desperately looked for political help but could only manage to bring ANC of Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya of Moses Wetangula on board Kenya Kwanza.

Other significant political parties appear to give Kenya Kwanza a wide berth.

All of a sudden a camp that has been preaching the hustler revolution with wheelbarrow as its focal philosophy and chest thumping how popular it had become to the extent of claiming premature victory changed tune and started complaining that elections will be rigged.

From the blues, a fire- spitting political dragon Ruto mellowed down and appeared to order his lieutenants to sustain a spirited head-on confrontation against the government, Uhuru and Raila.

It shocked Kenyans to witness a forlorn Ruto in the US and Britain delivering one of his harshest indictments of Uhuru's government.

Meanwhile, in his characteristic political style, Raila has moved with speed to secure his traditional political bases with ease.

As I write, most of the ODM strongholds in Coast, Western, Nyanza, North Eastern and Nairobi have responded positively to Raila's overtures, effectively turning tables on the DP.

For some strange reasons, the much expected exodus of resigning technocrats whom Ruto's UDA had promised Kenyans didn't materialise as most resignees opted to join Azimio instead of Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

Azimio is attracting more political giants, the latest being Meru County governor, Kiraitu Murungi and Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya.

Even before Azimio's bagging in of these two Meru leaders, hitherto stubborn and hesitant regions in the country such as Maa community had embraced Raila as he builds a formidable political campaign machine towards August elections.

How things can change!

Raila appears to have borrowed a strategy from one of the most feared military hero in Africa, Shaka Zulu.

Shaka Zulu realised that battles and wars couldn't be worn by direct approach, but rather by a meticulous approach.

By executing an ingenious, Baffalo Horn manauvre, Shaka Zulu surrounded and vanquished his adversaries with such ease he even confounded the European occupiers of present day, South Africa.

It seems by the time stubborn voters from Mt. Kenya wake up from self-induced slumber, the only remaining remnants of political support for their political darling, Dr. William Samoei Ruto will be tiny spots in the North Rift-Valley and the mountain regions.

If you are in doubt, kindly stay tuned to TV and radio stations or keep an eye on social media to witness what will happen at a mega Azimio function in the city of Nairobi on Saturday, 12th March this year.

To those who still have doubt that Raila has not reclaimed nostalgia that Mt. Kenya had about him for helping Mwai Kibaki to take over power in 2012 and appreciation for enabling Uhuru to rule comfortably after the handshake, you better think again.

In my considered opinion, Raila's wave has just begun and once it gathers steam after this weekend, it will be a political tsunami never to be witnessed in the history of elections in Kenya.

As for Ruto, he will henceforth continue to mourn about the same things he has been telling foreign governments, foremost being that Uhuru intends to install a puppet president in the leader of Raila by rigging this year's presidential election.

To Ruto's supporters, prepare to join the opposition with grace.

In case I am wrong, if Ruto wins the August election, then it will be another wonder of the world.

In the meantime, DP is perfectly entitled to his tantrums and proscrastination.


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