Deputy President William Ruto is a man under siege. We’d be lying to ourselves if we didn’t see that obvious fact.
His biggest problem is not quite his ambition. Supporters of evergreen opposition supremo Raila Odinga would have you believe that Ruto is in trouble because he’s eyeing the presidency in 2022. That’s not true, for Kenya’s political intoxicants are brewed and drunk to the ever-present beat of the quest for the presidency.
We are a backward, poorly-run and shockingly corrupt country, and in such hellholes, it’s critical that the president should be from your tribe. However, this is nothing new, it has been with us since independence.
Ruto’s problem is the accident of his humble birth. For, unlike Kenya’s other political aristocrats, Mr Ruto was not born the son of a big man. In fact, his background is one of a stone that has been repeatedly rejected, but which has time and again turned out to be the cornerstone.
Although his political journey began in Nandi, he’s said to be a Kipsigis, whose circumstances of birth made it difficult for him to live with his own people, so he grew up in faraway Eldoret. But he clawed his way up and found himself one of the young people running the Youth for KANU 1992 movement.
He, but once again found himself on the wrong side of the then ruling elite when he teamed up with Raila Odinga for the 2007 elections. Ruto gave his all in that election, and rightly felt betrayed when Raila chose to sup with those who had ‘stolen’ the 2007 election.
Five years later, and Ruto was pushed out of Raila’s team by accusations of being “a mole”. He teamed up with Uhuru Kenyatta, and delivered the presidency to Uhuru, twice.
The central Kenya elite have forgotten all that. The Mount Kenya Mafia now want to go back on their word by hollowing out the presidency, so that Ruto inherits a powerless office.
They are also said to be planning a powerful Executive Premier position in the constitution, and have dangled this before the hungry eyes of Raila- who, apparently, trusts them. Oblivious of the fact that all they want is to use and dump him.
After throwing money at the problem, complete with a handshake to conceal the crime scene, Baba seem to have swallowed the lie hook, line and sinker.
Raila, who never learns and is always outfoxed when rubber meets the road, is about to help Jubilee achieve those Constitutional changes, which only Uhuru is likely to benefit from.
I say this because immediately the laws are changed, with a powerful post for a prime minister and a weak president are formed probably for DP Ruto, Jubilee, who have numbers to do as they wish, will come up with an age limit petition, barring those over 70 from vying for those top seats! One wonders, why doesn’t he retire and save himself the impending embarrassment?
The problem with Kenyans is that they expect this cabal of privileged sons of power- the Kenyattas, the Odingas, the Mois, the Mudavadis to spare some time for service delivery even as they jostle for the power and riches that Kenya’s powerful presidency confers upon the incumbent.
And so our tribally blinkered people will still vote for these billionaire jokers. Shame, that: the day Kenyan political elites come to care about the plight of ordinary Kenyans, pigs will fly.