Political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi is a critic of Deputy President William Ruto, often castigating him on his social media pages and analysis on his YouTube channel, The 5th Estate.
He also escalates his onslaught on Ruto allies while championing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's agenda and their Azimio la Umoja movement.
Foremost, the former University of Nairobi don has constantly claimed that he single-handedly created Ruto’s ‘hustler' brand, which propelled him to political stardom.
"I created the hustler nation. I created the hustler vs dynasty fight. Check history. And then I made it fashionable for a chicken seller to own a Ksh1.2 billion village house. True or not," he stated in May 2021.
He also differed with Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria, on the ‘Tyranny of Numbers’ phrase, both claiming to be the creators of the opinion that ethnic politics in Kenya creates a situation in which tribal voting blocs can command the majority, making it nearly impossible for the minority to ever see the presidency.
Ngunyi’s political punditry has covered topics far and wide. From how Ruto will not be President, to how Raila will be president in 2022 without the elections, among others.
However, we revisit his April 2018 analysis dubbed ‘How Ruto will finish RAILA. Letter to HUSTLER NATION’.
In the video released a month after the March 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and Odinga, Ngunyi argued that he believed in the hustler nation and that it was a secret yet to be discovered.
“Ruto is not ashamed of his tag as a hustler and he will walk into Presidency as a chicken seller with pride,” he explained.
His understudies at the Fort Hall School of Government analysed that Ruto will not become President but he will be made President, not only by the Gikuyu, Embu, Meru Association (GEMA/Mt Kenya) but by the hustlers in general.
"He will be more of a class project that an ethnic project. Made president by hustlers and not ethnic oligarchs,” Ngunyi’s juniors noted.
They also questioned if Ruto’s ascension was the end of ethnicity and the beginning of a class war, but clarified that he was a project of the wretched of the earth, the chicken sellers, the jua kali artisans, the cart pullers and all common wananchi.
"Because of Ruto, any chicken seller can aspire to be President regardless of the tribe. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Senator Gideon Moi are sons of Presidents. Raila is a son of a Vice President. Musalia Mudavadi is the son of a powerful Minister.
“Ruto is a son of a man whose name no one knows and that is why he will become President. He represents all of us without a tribe. He is from the hustler nation which will take government in 2022,” they added.
On Ruto’s father living a low-key life and not synonymous with Kenya’s politics, they argued that he was a common man referred to as ‘you’ or ‘wewe’ in Swahili.
This is a possessive pronoun used in place of someone's name or identity. At times, it s used to despise a person. You doctor, you cook, you cleaner among other examples.
Will the people reject Ruto if they are told he is corrupt? Ngunyi and his juniors wondered.
“No one. If they meet corruption, will they run to Judiciary to report it or will they eat it? They will eat it. People accusing you of corruption are not from the hustlers, they are from those who benefitted from corruption,” they argued.
Solutions offered to Ruto to stay relevant in politics were, changing politicians around him constantly like diapers, and engaging opposition politicians in the sense of renting and not buying them.
“Once rent is finished, you have to reload. Also, buy activist Miguna Miguna and pump money into his course. Miguna will neutralise Raila for you,” they added.
In an analysis dated March 21, 2022, Ngunyi and his juniors, argued that Raila will be a lone candidate. This was in reference to Moses Kuria arguing that Mt Kenya residents took an oath to never support a candidate from the Lake region.
"Ruto cannot tell us to obey oaths yet he did not honour his oath to defend the Constitution and act in the best interests of the country," his juniors argued.
"The election of August 9 will be a formality, the party nominations will be the big game. If you introduce a scarce resource in an area of scarcity, they will be a conflict. We predict violence in the party nominations,” another added clearly referring to divisions emerging in Ruto’s camp over power-sharing formulas.
Ngunyi wrapped it up warning Ruto to be cautious of using Gatundu South to rise to power. In this statement, one can decipher that Ruto is using Kuria, the President’s own MP, to hit the government.
The DP also recently toured the constituency and Ichaweri village, Uhuru’s birthplace and asked the residents to be his emissaries. He sent them to Uhuru to plead his case. Ruto asked the President to cut him some slack in their wrangle.
"How can you be President by using someone else's constituency. If I was William Ruto, I would be very careful," Ngunyi advised.
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