KAMPALA – A marriage of convenience in 2013 and 2017 between Uhuru and Ruto formed a formidable force code named UHURUTO (Uhuru+ Ruto) gave Raila Odinga a blow.
And from the look of things, Raila Odinga is still nursing the injuries sustained 8 years ago.
One is forced to believe that Raila Odinga is still desperate to become Kenya’s President atleast to appease the ghost of his late dad Oginga Odinga, one of the founding fathers of post independent Kenya.
For his loyalty and support, Ruto hoped Kenyatta would back him up in the 2022 general elections but he was wrong, Jomo’s son had already betrayed the cause and entered into another “marriage” without first obtaining a public political divorce from the first one.
He is presently traversing the country galvanizing support for former ceremonial Prime Minister and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga. The building Bridges initiative (BBI) is one of the avenues the two have initiated for purposes of marketing Raila Odinga for Presidency.
In all this drama, I’m utterly shocked by the reaction of Uhuru Kenyatta; how could he turn around to point a gun at his own deputy who has stood with him through thick and thin? We know that leaders across the globe privately or openly come out to endorse their successors but I think Kenyatta has lost it and believe it is a bad sign.
To become President, Uhuru was vice President to Kibaki and in descending order, Kibaki was also a close associate of Moi and Moi was very close to Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta- father to Uhuru Kenyatta.
The fall out with Ruto aside, I think Kenyatta is trying to break the chains of history where the first President Kenyatta was Kikuyu, succeeded by Arap Moi- a Kalengin who was also succeeded by Kibaki a reknown Kikuyu. It is not a secret; Uhuru Kenyatta himself is a Kikuyu and the balance of convenience lies in favour of Ruto- a Kalengin taking over the Presidency but it looks like Uhuru wants power to shift to Kisumu the home town of Jaluo where Raila Odinga comes from but will he manage?
Like many African Presidents, Kenyatta is trying to turn himself into a kingmaker with the power to appoint his successor and have him voted. It is high time African leaders came up with a plan to market a woman President instead of man out, man in. I also think it is time for African Presidents to stop undermining their deputies or vice presidents.
Verily verily do I say unto you Uhuru, unlike you who grew up with a silver spoon in your mouth, your outgoing Deputy President William Ruto is a self-made politician who cannot be brushed away like a millipede to coil; I think he is smart and dangerous and come August next year, he will be President if he does not die before the elections. Surely with the Building Bridges Initiative about to collapse under its own weight, the sky is the limit for Ruto. Uhuru’s behavior and betrayal could mark the end of the legacy of the Kenyatta establishment.
Surely, how can you block a serving Deputy President from travelling to a neighbouring country on a private visit? For the few years I have travelled out of this country, I have not sought permission from anyone, noteven my family;I just inform them about my journey and destination. When I hear that a deputy President needed to seek permission to travel to Uganda it is laughable. Ruto is rumored to be preparing a bid for the presidency without Kenyatta’s blessing as he has another candidate in mind.
We cannot forget the year 2007 when Kenya went up in flames, lives were lost and property destroyed. What began as riots turned into some sort of genocide. It all began as tribal sentiments and blossomed into real war that saw some of the leaders including Kenyatta summoned to the International Criminal Court. I believe by turning against Ruto who is Kalengin in favour of Odinga who is Luo, Kenyatta is sounding war drums. In Kenya, for one to win an election, you need an alliance with the Kikuyu, the Kalengin, Luhya, Luo, and Kamba which are the largest ethnic groups today.
In the past three weeks, the media has carried stories that Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto was set for a private trip from Kenya to Uganda, the second time in a month, but was stopped by the immigration officers at the airport on Monday on orders from above.Local media reported that immigration officials insisted that William Ruto had to first secure authorization from Uluru Kenyatta before getting out of the country.
Ruto was expected to travel to Uganda alongside Harun Aydin-a Turkish businessman as well as three members of the Kenyan parliament who were first denied clearance but were later allowed to travel and indeed they travelled to Uganda with another planned trip to Tanzania. Ruto was made to plead for his exit for more than five hours until he got frustrated and gave up. It is not in doubt that Ruto’s relation with the current President Kenyatta suddenly turned sour and none has come out to explain why. Was it a marriage of convenience right from the beginning in 2013; was Uhuru Kenyatta only using Ruto to secure the Presidency?
In his own words, Ruto is quoted to have said, “I have been stopped from flying to Uganda because the system believes only the children of the rich and famous can fly to foreign countries and dine with Presidents. But we have God and we will overcome. I am putting the tribalists and dynasties on notice that our patience has run out and we will not take any more humiliation.” Definitely, Ruto was directly attacking his boss for masterminding the plot to stop him.
According to reports from local media within Kenya which escalated to International level, William Ruto was supposed to be in Uganda for a private unknown mission on a private chartered Cessna 560XL jet but was stopped from moving out and asked to seek clearance before being allowed to exit. The truth is that there is an obligation for such a high profile person to communicate his/her movements to his immediate superior before they travel out of the country.
David Mugonyi, the communication secretary in the office of the Deputy President is quoted to have wondered why his boss was denied clearance to go on a planned private visit to Uganda adding that it is their officers who always handle Ruto’s travel but was shocked to learn that he must get clearance from Immigration to fly out. To him, this was a surprise as it had never happened all the years he has served under Ruto.
Asked for his view on the stampede at the airport, Kipchumba Murkomen, a Senator for Elgeyo-Marakwet County confirmed to the media that the Deputy President has never ever required any clearance to travel out of the country and there is no law, regulation or requirement for him to seek clearance before travel for any public or private engagement. So where did Kenyatta get the mandate to block and attempt to embarrass his own Deputy before immigration officers? When Kenya changed its currency, the target was Ruto who was alleged to have accumulated a lot of hard cash in and out of Kenya, that plot backfired forcing them to look for plan “B” in BBI.
Immediately the news broke out that Ruto had been blocked, some legislators in the Kenyan Parliament alleged that William Ruto was working around the clock to import Uganda’s system of election fraud and stealing methods including seeking President Museveni’s help to employ the dubious tactics the NRM has used to keep Museveni in power for more than 35years.The scandalous barrage was initiated by the National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi and Minority chief whip Junet Mohamed who are obvious sympathizers of Raila Odinga.
They created an impression that they were concerned about Ruto’s frequent visits and a perceived alliance with Uganda’s President whom they accused of employing dubious tactics including terrorizing opponents to remain in power.“While we do not wish to interfere with internal political arrangements in other countries, we equally want to state that we do not need to borrow from other countries political habits whose end result can only lead to chaos….,” Junet said. They also alleged that Mr. Ruto, in his bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, is being helped by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to forge a lifetime presidency. As for the Ugandans who have filed a case in the East African court of Justice over the remarks of the Kenyan MPs, you are obviously wasting time, Parliamentary immunity applies.
Whatever the case, leave Uganda out of your divisive politics. Surely these two MPs are being insensitive to Uganda; is this the kind of image in which they see our country and the President? If this is the case, then Uganda has a lot of cleaning to do to clear its image with the neighbours and on the international scene. Where are the people responsible for our public relations both in Uganda and abroad? The President may consider appointing Enanga for this noble course.
Reading between the lines, I think these two Kenyan Parliamentarians were short of telling the world that Ruto was frequenting Uganda for lectures on how to rig and mess up the August 2022 general elections in which they have a chance to front Odinga. It is fear of losing that made them to utter such careless statements. With all due respect, I find this argument unfounded, malicious and lacking in form and in substance. The same should be trashed and disregarded.
Assuming that the allegation above was true, did Ruto have to come with a Turkish business man to learn how to cheat during elections? We are told that Ruto also intended to travel to Tanzania thereafter, what was he going to learn from Tanzania’s new President Hassan Samia Suluhu, absolutely nothing. That reaction is what is termed as fear mongering; it is not good for you as Members of Parliament and it is not good for you as Kenyans. Raila has a history of divide and rule and if he has the surgeon’s knife that has successfully separated Ruto-Kenyatta from the conjoined Uhuruto union, then the sky is the limit.
Kenyans irrespective of ethnic background, social status, religious or political affiliation should not be deceived and dragged into tribal politics, some of us who are your sons in law and neighbours believe William Ruto is the best President for Kenya come 2022.
There is an African saying that once the small animals in the wild see a giraffe running, they don’t ask why, they too start running without asking questions knowing that the sky giant due to its height advantage and sensed danger of an enemy. For us in Uganda we know the enemy for Kenya is, watch out. The Uhuraila alliance is a none starter, it will not survive to election time.
If you want, ask Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Wetangula, Migina Miguna and know why Raila Odinga should never be given a chance to ascend to the Presidency. Similarly, don’t give Kenyatta a chance to imagine Kenya is a monarchy, or even to think his family owns Kenya, it is for all of you and that is why your founders adopted the slogan “Kenya Yetu”.
Mine is a piece of unsolicited admonishment with love on a silver platter. What hurts Kenya automatically hurts Uganda. The Swahili have a saying that “nzi bila mshauri hufuata maiti ndani ya kaburi” meaning a fly that does not heed to advice follows a corpse into the grave.
The writer, Roger Wadada Musaalo is a Lawyer, human rights activist, researcher, and politician