Inside Ruto’s network
Inside Ruto’s network
With about a week to go to the August 9 General Election, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) presidential candidate William Ruto is a frontrunner.
Ruto is squaring it out with Azimio la Umoja One Kenya candidate, Raila Odinga.
The two candidates have teams of advisers who will occupy key posts in their government.
In Ruto’s camp is Farouk Kibet, his long time personal assistant. But who is this Kibet?
In the hotly contested 2007 General Election where the then incumbent President Mwai Kibaki was squaring it out with ODM leader Raila Odinga, William Ruto, then the Eldoret North MP and an ally of Raila formed a Kalenjin network to lead in uprooting Kikuyus from the Rift Valley.
Ruto, aware that Raila stood little chance of defeating Kibaki, planned in advance the uprooting of the Kikuyus in Rift Valley as one way of grabbing power, according to witnesses who appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
After the election, Ruto was even pushing Raila to be sworn-in as President of the Republic of Kenya at 48 Stadium in Eldoret and then to declare total war but the move aborted after Raila refused to take part in the evil plot.
The violence only ended after Kibaki and Raila hammered a peace deal resulting in the formation of the Grand Coalition government.
Moving fast forward today, close observers will have noticed that Ruto is forming another Kalenjin network that has already taken control of United Democratic Alliance (UDA), the party through which he is seeking the presidency in the August 9 General Election.
The network cobbled up comprises Kalenjins who have been accompanying him in key strategy meetings.
While making critical forays out of the country, Ruto prefers the company of his Kalenjin kinsmen who include Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi and his Mt Elgon counterpart Fred Kapondi.
This team is backed up by Ruto’s aides who include Farouk Kibet, Isaac Maiyo and Communication Director Emmanuel Tallam, all Kalenjins.
The non-Kalenjins who accompany Ruto only do so to hoodwink the public since in all the key meetings, including those outside the country, they are booked in another hotel away from the second in command and his Kalenjin clique.
In the two visits Ruto made to Uganda and Zanzibar, those on board the chopper were Kalenjins.
After he was blocked from flying to Uganda, Ruto sent his inner circle to Uganda but excluded the likes of blogger Dennis Itumbi, Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung'wa and his Gatundu South counterpart Moses Kuria.
They were excluded since they are not Kalenjins and there were fears they would leak the deliberations to outsiders.
Already, Ruto’s allies believe Kuria is a spy who reports their activities to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies who include a Principal Secretary from Mount Kenya region.
There are reports Kuria failed to attend the MPs meeting at Ruto’s Karen residence fearing his cover had been blown out.
It has also emerged that Ruto is also not comfortable with Elgeyo/Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen since his wife is a Kikuyu.
Murkomen is married to Gladys Wambui from Nyeri County.
Ruto’s Communication Director, David Mugoyni, a Luyha, is also excluded in key strategy meetings.
Mugonyi is only given written speeches to dispatch to the media after they have been approved by Tallam, a Kalenjin.
The Deputy President fears that Mt Kenya inhabitants cannot be trusted with party secrets and therefore only Kalenjins are allowed into the secretive Uganda trips.
These trips, normally chaired and organised by Sudi, are aimed at making UDA to function like President Yoweri Museveni's National Resistance Movement (NRM) which has ruled Uganda for decades with an iron fist.
There are reports Ruto plans to have UDA excludes Kikuyus in inner circle meetings so that he can discard the 10 years constitutional limit once he ascends to power and rule for decades like Kenya’s second president Daniel arap Moi and Museveni.
This is why Uganda bound trips are exclusively reserved for Kalenjins as Ruto does not want to risk exposing these secrets to Kikuyus as he fears they will leave UDA.
The most powerful man in Ruto’s Kalenjin network is Farouk Kibet (pictured above).
His name was first mentioned when the then ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda claimed that he had been involved in efforts aimed at tampering with witnesses in the ICC case into the 2007-2008 violence that nearly brought the country to its knees.
Kibet was also mentioned in the National Youth Service (NYS) Sh791 million scandal during Ann Waiguru's short-lived tenure as Devolution Cabinet Secretary.
According to sources, it is impossible to secure an appointment with Ruto without going through Farouk.
Farouk was a member of Kanu Youth Wingers in 1990 and today holds the fate of those seeking Ruto's attention in his hands whether at his official Karen residence.
He has also been described as a hawk-eyed and a powerful power broker.
The next powerful man in the Kalenjin network is Isaac Maiyo who is a long time and close friend of the Deputy President.
Next is the Kapseret MP who has been a thorn in the flesh of Ruto's allies, due to his staunch defence of the Deputy President.
Sudi is said to be a wealthy businessman with a multi-million empire he amassed through dubious means.
Sudi even accompanied Ruto to Sudan in a secret chicken farm bench-marking trip.
And now there are reports Ruto is forming another network similar to the one he formed in 2007 that will have him at the top.
He is roping in Museveni while deported terror suspect, Harun Aydin was to lead in combat preparations.
Those on the list include Sudi, Kapondi, Benjamin Tarus and ex-military Geoffrey Kangangi.
On the periphery are Itumbi and Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro who will be tasked with propaganda and funds mobilisation but will not be members of the inner circle that is exclusively Kalenjin.