Political earthquakes as Uhuru and Ruto get cosy

Though there have been rumours about it, there’s now confirmation of an alliance between Agriculture Minister William Ruto and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in readiness for the 2012 General Elections.

Uhuru Kenyatta

Uhuru Kenyatta

By any standards, campaigning three years before an election is premature at best and callous at worst. It does appear that Kenyan politicians learnt nothing from last year’s near civil war and the political chess game continues.

Amidst these moves, the plight of Kenyans is hopelessly forgotten. Alignments are shifting like the ocean waves as political heavyweights weigh their options. Millions of shillings are exchanging hands as people who struck billions in previous administrations gear up for the big race.

The likes of Martha Karua, high in ideals but low in finances, can only hope to cut a deal with the big boys. Will she be satisfied with the post of Prime Minister or Vice President in a Uhuru-Ruto or Saitoti government? Or will she link up with current Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka?

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto were on opposing sides during the 2007 General Elections. In reality, they have more in common with each other than with anybody else. They were both mentored by ex-President Daniel arap Moi in the KANU party. They are both approaching middle age and wish to seize the reigns of power before old age catches up. And to achieve their goals, they are willing to do whatever it takes.

Bearing in mind the enmity between Ruto’s Kalenjin tribe and Uhuru’s Kikuyu ethnic group not so long ago, the alliance has been received with disbelief. Both Uhuru and Ruto are implicated in ethnic massacres, with Ruto linked to Kalenjin warriors and Uhuru accused of planning reprisal attacks in Nakuru and Naivasha. Both of them are likely to face the International Criminal Court to answer charges of crimes against humanity. Today, the move by the two not-so-youthful politicians to join forces has rocked the country’s leadership from State House to the grassroots.

Luo Nyanza, long considered Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s backyard, has not been spared the onslaught of the Uhuru – Ruto alliance. Already, several Members of Parliament from Raila’s Luo tribe have responded amiably to overtures from Uhuru – Ruto. Politicians who lost their seats in the last election, and who blame Raila for their predicament, have seen an opportunity to hit back at the Luo titan.

The rapprochement between Uhuru and Ruto has perplexed ordinary people from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin tribes. It was just the other day that the two tribes were butchering each other with machetes, bows, arrows and stones. Churches were burnt, homes looted, women raped and children killed. In some places, hostility is so high that the two tribes dare not live together. This may frustrate the works of Uhuru – Ruto.

It is highly unlikely that Ruto can get Kikuyu votes because they believe Ruto incited the Kalenjin against them. Hundreds of Kikuyu were killed in Ruto’s parliamentary constituency as he insisted that there would be no peace until his preferred candidate, Raila Odinga, assumed the presidency.

While the Kikuyu have a vast array of presidential candidates to choose from, including Uhuru, Prof Saitoti, Vice President Kalonzo and Martha Karua, the Kalenjin can only choose between Raila and Ruto.

Though they voted massively for Raila in 2007, the Kalenjin are disappointed. Grievances include the Mau Forest issue, failure to shield Kalenjin militants from prosecution and failure to provide top jobs to the Kalenjin elite. Rising costs of farm inputs coupled with plunging prices for farm produce have forced the Kalenjin to explore other leadership options. Currently, they have Ruto, or a person close to Ruto such as Uhuru Kenyatta. However, Uhuru does not inspire much confidence among Kenyans.

As the Uhuru – Ruto axis of evil shapes up, other presidential candidates are not taking chances. Professor George Saitoti is currently on a behind-the-scenes campaign to recruit leading politicians from Central, Eastern and Coast provinces. With immense financial reserves, Saitoti has no problem inducing followers with gifts. His current position as Minister for Internal Security is also serving him well, as it grants him access to President Mwai Kibaki.

Martha Karua is however not doing well. She simply lacks the financial clout of Uhuru, Ruto and Saitoti. She is fighting a brave campaign traversing all provinces in Kenya but, short of cataclysmic change, the most she can expect is to bargain for a seat from the top guns.

As events unfold, where is Kalonzo Musyoka?

Kalonzo is said to be playing it cool. Despite vilification from Raila’s ODM, Kalonzo’s cards are looking pretty good. Kalonzo is not tainted with corruption scandals or ethnic massacres. A trained lawyer, Kalonzo is diplomatic, smooth talking and amicable. In the 2007 campaigns, Kalonzo talked of getting to the presidency through a miracle that will take him past every other challenger. Perhaps, Kalonzo is taking a back seat knowing that in Kenya, anything is possible.

After all, if Uhuru and Ruto can come together in spite of everything, who knows what the future has in store?


Previous article: Why Uhuru and Ruto will face The Hague


3 Responses

  1. My blogging hiatus is now over, I have eventually VUKAD to WordPress with two new blogs: ‘Peter’s Walkabout’ and ‘Green Kenya’.
    Check these out at http://www.peternjenga.com/blogs/

  2. These alliances are fairy tales perpetrated to divert us from the 2 things we want: IDPs to be settled and Constitutional office holders to pay taxes on all their income. They are soo unlikely, that next they will tell us Ruto and Mudavadi have formed an alliance., then Ruto and Kilonzo, then Ruto and Muthama…. Relax-there is about as much truth to them as there is to me being the sitting pope.

  3. While it’s too early in the Kenyan political chessboard for us to be having kittens over a Uhuru-Ruto merger, it would be highly imprudent not to be shit scared over it. It’s the perfect meeting of two great and unfathomably cruel minds mentored by the Lord Tyrant himself. A 2012 on this love boat beggars description…will make ’07 seem like a shody stage production or a theatrical farce at best. What is it Mark Anthony says? ‘…blood and destruction will be so in use and dreadful objects so farmiliar that mothers will but smile to see their children torn into pieces during the fighting. All pity disappearing because cruelty is so common…’ I would love nothing more to say that Kenyans are smarter than falling for these demagogues on a two man mission to do us in. Sadly, they are almost always invariably the dupes in this aetiological narrative of ‘ Why did kenyans butcher each other?’ Word to the wise- have a manageable fear for your lives

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