Political analysts say that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s thanksgiving tour of the Mt Kenya region may backfire if indeed he will be out to end Deputy President William Ruto’s dominance in the vote-rich region.
Uhuru’s allies stated that the Head of State will embark on a tour to thank the nation, starting from Mt Kenya where Ruto has made inroads ahead of the August 9 polls. A date for the tour has not yet been scheduled, but reports indicate that plans are already underway.
Prior to Uhuru’s tour, Raila will campaign in Murang’a and Kirinyaga counties between Monday, January 24 and Saturday, January 29 to warm the region.
It is believed that the Head of State will speak against Ruto and share intricate details of their fallout. He will also largely endorse the Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga as his preferred successor.
Ruto’s allies, even so, claim that they will not be haunted by the President who has the right to back a candidate of his choice.
University of Nairobi lecturer and political analyst, Dr Jane Thuo, argues that there is no new dirt on Ruto that Uhuru can reveal as the President has always spoken indirectly against his deputy.
“There are no secrets in politics and I do not think Uhuru is that vindictive. If he appears to be so, then the move may backfire on him. You never hit your perceived enemy below the belt.
“There are details about the two that you can fill for yourself. The two do not have to speak openly for us to understand that they are no longer getting along,” the UoN don opined.
Dr Thuo, nonetheless, warned that Uhuru is not a saint too, and Ruto may be prompted to counter by revealing secrets that may taint the President. Ruto may also seize the moment to turn victim and win by garnering sympathy votes from the masses.
Social Development Consultant and political analyst, Nafula Kisiang’ani concurred with Thuo, stating that Ruto is a smart politician who knows how to twist tribulations into luck.
“The DP uses the stones thrown at him to build a strong foundation. He was labelled a tanga tanga (an idle person who roams around) and this created a movement. He was called a thief and he used it to his own advantage," she opined.
Just like Dr Thuo, Nafula agrees that the fallout between the two was in the public domain and there is no more juice to spill.
“It is open knowledge that Uhuru is supporting Raila and him speaking against the DP will not have any ripple effect,” the Social Development Consultant differed with the President’s allies.
“Uhuru is our President and should not be a cry baby. Do not believe that this can be considered a smart move,” she added.
According to Nafula, Uhuru should focus on image repair as there are some Kenyans who are disappointed with his government. By openly shattering Ruto’s dream, Uhuru will also be giving the DP the opportunity to disassociate with the government failures.
The Head of State once slammed Ruto for riding on Jubilee Party’s success and castigating the same government where it failed to deliver.
“We (Kenyans), were not on the table when the two signed their pacts in 2013 and 2017. The damage is already done and I believe Ruto has already traversed Mt Kenya.
“Raila and Azimio La Umoja should stop focusing on Mt Kenya only. The region will always remain slippery. They should make inroads in their strongholds and protect their fortress lest Ruto will share the spoils with them in their own backyards,” she advised.
Nafula added that the move by Uhuru may also weaken Raila in the long term. The President has been pushing for a united front consisting of Raila and One Kenya Alliance (OKA) co-principals, Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Moses Wetangula (Ford-Kenya).
However, this projected unity has, in turn, created divisions in Raila’s strongholds, Western Kenya and Nyanza, according to the Social Development Consultant.
UoN lecturer, Dr Thuo, nonetheless cautioned Ruto from being hypocritical by riding on the Church wave and also embodying vices such as being vindictive and abusing other aspirants.
This was after Ruto claimed that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka supported Raila until he (Kalonzo’s) was turning hairless (aged). Ruto’s sentiments did not augur well with Ukambani leaders. Kitui Governor, Charity Ngilu, criticised Ruto and urged him to desist from abusing Kalonzo.
“If Ruto is indeed Godly and goes to church as he says, he should not talk evil about others. He needs to show Christ-like nature in his campaign,” Thuo castigated the DP.
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