How Ruto Could Beat Rally Ban to Meet Supporters

  • Deputy President addresses a crowd at Kasarani, Gilgil, Nakuru County on Friday, February 28, 2020
    Deputy President addresses a crowd at Kasarani, Gilgil, Nakuru County on Friday, February 28, 2020
    File
  • Deputy President William Ruto on Friday, March 13, cancelled his public engagements in Trans Nzoia and West Pokot Counties, slated for Saturday, March 14, after the government imposed a ban on public events following the confirmation of the first coronavirus COVID-19 case in Kenya.

    Blogger Dennis Itumbi made the announcement on his social media pages on Friday, March 13. Ruto also urged Kenyans to adhere to medical directives issued by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, on how individuals should maintain personal hygiene and prevent an outbreak of the disease.

    "We appreciate that coronavirus is a global pandemic. We must play our respective parts as advised by the Ministry of Health. Every citizen must contribute to ensure that the country does not face risk and that personal hygiene would be central. That is the way we are going to control this flu," Ruto stated while addressing a multitude at the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital, Nandi County on Friday, March 13, 2020. 

    From left: Kiharu MP, Ndindi Nyoro, Deputy President William Ruto and Nandi Governor Stephen Sng, at Mosoriot, Nandi County on Friday, March 13, 2020
    From left: Kiharu MP, Ndindi Nyoro, Deputy President William Ruto and Nandi Governor Stephen Sng, at Mosoriot, Nandi County on Friday, March 13, 2020
    File

    As the Health CS also banned Kesha's (Christian night vigils), he also directed that normal church services would go on, provided that religious leaders provided hand sanitizers and maintained hygiene. 

    Deputy President William Ruto uses church services to interact with his followers. Ruto, a devoted Christian at times preaches or even reads verses at the churches. Banning rallies, while allowing church services to go on gives Ruto an opportunity to speak to his followers without organising events.

    Political analyst Herman Manyora, on Saturday, March 14, while speaking with Kenyans.co.ke indicated that the DP had a choice of attending church services and that no one would prevent him from doing so.

    However, the University of Nairobi don argued that if Ruto attended a church service, it would turn into a political event. 

    "The DP, as usual, would carry his brigade to the rally, and definitely a huge crowd would gather to listen to him. This would, in turn, transform the nature of the service into a public rally, which would be a direct disregard to the directive by the government," Manyora stated.

    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Ministry of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the media from the Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    KENYANS.CO.KE

    The analyst opined that it would be better for Ruto to avoid public events. This raises the question, how then would Ruto beat the system, which he lamented is against his ascension to power? Ruto, seemingly isolated from the reigns of power, banks on his mass followers to ascend into the presidency in 2022. 

    In Mosoriot, Nandi County, on Friday, March 13, the DP affirmed that he was ready to face anyone in an election and that public servants being used to undermine and fight him should think about facing him in a political race. The DP was also gifted with a bible, an item he highly adores. 

    "I thank you, Mosoriot residents, for purchasing and gifting me a Bible. I will use this bible to chase conmen, cartels and the devil. All those plotting my downfall will now face my wrath. Anyone whose fighting me should quit from their public posts and try a hand in politics.

    "I am ready to face them. And for those MPs plotting my impeachment in Nairobi, the plot might backfire on you and get you impeached by wananchi, because you are serving your personal interests instead of serving them," Ruto stated.

    However, Ruto maintained that he was not in a campaign mood and when the time comes, he wouldn't hold back. 

    "The time for that is coming. I have come to give out title deeds, launch a construction project in a school and give out ambulances to a hospital. I did not come to ask for votes," he stated.

    "There is a time we will remove our coats, shirts and put on campaign t-shirts. It is not yet time for that. I am hearing some people saying Ruto is campaigning. I have not started. I am still assisting the president to deliver the agenda he gave Kenyans and I am doing it as expected," he told the crowd.

    Deputy President William Ruto on a development tour of Nandi County on Friday, March 13, 2020
    Deputy President William Ruto on a development tour of Nandi County on Friday, March 13, 2020
    DPPS