It is difficult being a Deputy President in Kenya - it’s like a football coach job - where everyone demands your sacking just because you lost a match.
In Kenya, the position is so hot that Kenya’s four Presidents have shared 11 veeps between them since independence.
The holder of the office is number two in the executive arm of government and the president’s principal assistant and a breath away from the presidency. Constitutionally, when a vacancy occurs, he or she assumes office for the remainder of the President’s term.
Deputy President William Ruto is getting pummelled like a pickpocket in an all too familiar script. Given the forces arraigned against him, whether he will break the historical jinx come 2022 remains to be seen.
Indeed, few Vice Presidents save for Moody Awori left in
Of all holders of the position, only retired President Daniel
Ruto’s ascent to the number two post came out of a Gentleman’s Agreement between him and Uhuru Kenyatta ahead of the 2013 general elections in which both had been indicted for crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court following the post-election violence in 2007/8. Their deal was that Ruto would succeed Uhuru when his 10-year tenure comes to a close in 2022.
However, the ‘Handshake’ between Uhuru and Raila and the sustained war on graft, which the DP claims is targeted at him, have jolted his
The latest blow to the DP was the government move to withdraw bodyguards attached to his allies coalescing under Team Tanga Tanga which is rooting for Ruto as president in 2022 but ODM National Treasurer Timothy Bosire says the circumstances are of Ruto’s own making.
“One can best describe him as a cheeky DP. He is a rebel. Ruto knows his mandate, his relations departmentally and he knows the
But Bosire explains that it would be wrong to compare Moi’s ascension to power with other deputies since he assumed office in unique circumstances.
“Moi did not ascend to office competitively. It is the circumstances of the time that saw him become President. The Constitution stipulated that in the event the President dies in office, the Deputy President assumed office for three months pending elections. He was then able to manipulate the situation and was elected President. No Vice President has even assumed office after a competitive election,” he added.
Before Moi, other Vice Presidents had fallen by the wayside for different reasons: Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s first Vice President was hounded out of office in April 1966 after a bitter fallout with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta over ideological differences. Never mind Odinga had rejected a plot by the British to give him the presidency when Kenyatta was rotting in Kapenguria where he was serving seven years hard
Joseph Murumbi, then Foreign Affairs minister, replaced him on May 5,
Moi succeeded Murumbi on January 5,
When Moi took over, he named Finance Minister Mwai Kibaki as his Vice President. But alas! he was sacked and demoted to the Health docket in March 1988. Kibaki, a famous fence sitter, surprised everyone when he resigned from
Kibaki’s replacement was
Embakasi MP David Mwenje claimed Karanja was plotting to overthrow the Moi government with the help of foreign masters besides assuming he was acting head of state when Moi was out of the country when he forced ministers to kneel before him.
Karanja was replaced by Finance Minister Prof George Saitoti but when Moi named his Cabinet after the 1997 election, Saitoti was left out. Kenya was without a Vice President for almost two years but on April 3, 1999, Saitoti was reappointed by the roadside with Moi wondering whether that would increase the number of
Notably, no Kenyan President has ever endorsed his deputy to succeed him.
Prof Saitoti was heir apparent but alas by the end of his term in 2002, Moi settled on a then political greenhorn Uhuru Kenyatta as his preferred successor who was shortly branded a Moi project.
Following the snub, Saitoti joined Raila Odinga to found an opposition alliance that saw Kibaki defeat Uhuru, Moi named Musalia Mudavadi as Vice President on November 4,
Kibaki named Michael Kijana Wamalwa as his VP but the office fell vacant following his death at a London Hospital in August 2003.
He was replaced by Moody Awori even as pundits had tipped
He was succeeded by Kalonzo Musyoka, who teamed up with Kibaki and helped him
Unlike Kibaki, Saitoti
Whether that will prop him