Raila foes lick wounds after by-election losses

Opponents of Prime Minister Raila Odinga are now engaged in a blame game after losing two constituencies where by-elections were held in the past week. Raila now feels vindicated in his earlier claims that he can ignore disgruntled legislators and work directly with voters.


Raila was in an ecstatic mood over the weekend after his ODM party won the Bomachoge and Shinyalu by-elections. The victory came despite intensive campaigning by Raila’s opponents, many of whom are in the same ODM party as Raila. In a political scenario that can only happen in Kenya, ODM officials were campaigning for rival parties in a bid to prove who is bigger or more influential in ODM.

It goes without saying that Agriculture Minister William Ruto, who of late does not see eye-to-eye with Raila, was secretly hoping that the official ODM candidates would fail. Several other ODM legislators who have fallen out with Raila openly campaigned for candidates running on other political parties. These include Omingo Magara, Isaac Ruto and Joshua Kutuny.

In Western Province, the Kenyan African Democratic Development Union (KADDU) of Cyrus Jirongo suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of the ODM candidate. So resounding was ODM’s victory in Shinyalu that Jirongo admitted that his campaign machinery made fatal mistakes that cost his party victory. Jirongo told Citizen Radio that the KADDU candidate, Daniel Khamasi, was not a favourite among youthful voters. Khamasi is a former area MP.

President Mwai Kibaki’s PNU party was so hopelessly disjointed that its presence was hardly felt during campaigns. Appearances by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and party leader George Saitoti could not salvage the situation. PNU’s campaign was riddled by wrangling and a total lack of co-ordination. Party members are beginning to question the leadership credentials of Saitoti, who is planning to vie for Kenya’s presidency in 2012.

Still in Western Province, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi was also ecstatic after ODM’s victory in Shinyalu. This was because the by-elections had been billed as a battle between Mudavadi and Jirongo. Both men are vying for the political control of Western Province. While Mudavadi was born into luxury in the family of the late Moses Mudavadi, Jirongo is largely a self made man who rose to prominence as the head of a KANU campaign outfit in 1992. Jirongo was spotted by former President Daniel arap Moi and appointed to head the Youth for KANU 92 with William Ruto as his deputy. Youth for KANU 92 had access to unlimited cash whose source remains a mystery.

Over the past decade, Jirongo has tried to become political pointman for the Luhya tribe that dominates Western Province. The role of community spokesman was previously played by the late Moses Mudavadi (Musalia’s father) then the late Masinde Muliro and late Michael Kijana Wamalwa. Jirongo is highly contemptuous of Mudavadi who is regarded as a reluctant politician waiting to be given power on a silver platter. Jirongo feels that he has worked hard to get where he is and sees Mudavadi as a spoilt brat unworthy of leadership. This explains why Jirongo is so eager to prove that he can influence voting patterns in Western at the expense of Mudavadi. However, Jirongo’s backing in Shinyalu for former legislator Daniel Khamasi was, by his own admission, a mistake.

That is not to say that the ODM candidate and Mudavadi were exceptionally popular with voters. Shinyalu voted overwhelmingly for ODM and Raila in 2007 and the by-election victory could simply have been a continuation of the trend. Any other person running on the ODM platform had a good chance of winning the seat.

In Bomachoge, voters may have wanted to vote ODM as a means of rectifying what they see as a mistake they made in 2007. The larger Kisii region was perhaps the only part of Kenya where almost all major political parties fared well. The Kisii were split between supporting Kibaki and Raila. After the elections, the Kisii people were violently attacked by their Luo and Kalenjin neighbours for not supporting Raila. This time, the Kisii were eager to show solidarity with their ethnic neighbours by electing an ODM, pro-Raila candidate.

With the by-elections now a closed chapter, the rival camps in ODM are assessing the lessons from that experience and gearing up for the next battle. Raila is unlikely to change his mode of operation and will want to continue working directly with voters. He sees the by-election victory as proof that he and ODM remain popular at the grassroots. The likes of William Ruto, Cyrus Jirongo, Omingo Magara and Joshua Kutuny will also be analyzing their actions. They should learn to present a more united front in future and to choose a viable candidate capable of connecting with voters.

In coming days, Parliament will begin debate on the enactment of a Special Tribunal to prosecute persons responsible for post election violence in 2008. This is likely to be the next phase of the war between Raila and his opponents. It promises to be a brutal showdown where those working against Raila will be eager to make up for their losses in the Bomachoge and Shinyalu by elections. Jirongo has said that he will work to ensure that the Special Tribunal bill flops. “The perpetrators of post election violence must be taken to The Hague,” says Jirongo.

As political contests continue, issues affecting the day-to-day lives of Kenyans have been shunted to the periphery.


Has census really succeeded?

The government has expressed satisfaction with the conduct of this year’s census but many households remain uncounted a week after the census began.


Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Director, Anthony Kilele, has said that most households were counted by Saturday the 29th of August. The census began on Monday the 24th and is due to officially end on the 31st.

However, by Saturday, many households in Nairobi were yet to see a census officer. Other city residents have found their doors with census markings yet they were not counted, leading to credible fears that census officials may be cooking up statistics.

Fears of faking census data were first raised by COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli in the middle of the week. Three days after the census began, Atwoli reported that majority of people had not been counted and that it would be impossible to clear the backlog within the allocated time. Kilele has since dismissed the fears saying that there will be no extension after the August 31st deadline.

Fears of manipulating census results have all to do with the perversive ethnic characteristics of Kenya’s politics. The bigger an ethnic group, the greater the influence of politicians from that ethnic group. With the government allocating development funds at constituency level, politicians would prefer a higher population in order to demand a greater share of the development budget.

The ongoing review of constituency boundaries by the Andrew Ligale Commission will place intensified scrutiny on the census results. Parts of Kenya with higher population densities will demand more constituencies, districts and even provinces. Just like the 2007 elections, the census has become an ethnic do-or-die affair.

Corruption has marred the exercise, right from the recruitment and training of census staff. It is said that majority of those recruited for the census are either connected to powerful personalities or paid bribes to get the jobs. In most rural constituencies, unemployed youths protested after census jobs were given to school teachers. The youth were left wondering why civil servants were competing for temporary jobs with the unemployed who, in some cases, were their own children!

Cattle invade Nairobi National Park

A KWS warden has admitted that the numbers of cattle in the Nairobi National Park has reached record levels. Many die in the park due to walking hundreds of kilometres in search of grazing.

Cattle in the Nairobi National Park.

Cattle in the Nairobi National Park.

In a meeting this weekend with the warden of Nairobi National Park Mr. Michael Wanjau, other government officials as well as residents of the area, it was revealed that tens of thousands of cattle are grazing in the Nairobi National Park as a result of the ongoing devastating drought.

Some dead and dying cattle are being butchered on the roadsides which poses a horrific public health situation.

Click here to get details of this story and view more photos >>


Picture from the Wild About Africa blog


The meaning of tribe and tribal statistics in Kenya

By Samuel Abonyo

“Tribalism will live for at least another fifty years”, Daniel Arap Moi said in 1957, historian Keith Kyle tells us in “The Politics of the Independence of Kenya.”

Moi’s prophesy has been fulfilled, and his contribution to its fulfilment is huge. In the 1950s, his construction of the Kalenjin tribe had begun in earnest, and by the 1990s, Kalenjinisation was an established word in Kenya. Yet the existence of the Kelenjin tribe is still being contested.

But what is tribe?

A tribe, according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, is a group of people of the same race, and with the same customs, language, religion, etc., living in a particular area and often led by a chief. Webster’s Dictionary says that a tribe is any aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs and traditions and adherence to the same leaders. Evidently, the definitions are not of much help, as, according to them, any group of people can conceivably be a tribe.

Peter Skalnik, an anthropologist, believed that tribes were politically defined units having dimensions such as culture, language and territory. To that strange belief, he added the weird opinion that the basic tribal identities are ancient, powerful and closed to amelioration, with the result that hostility and tensions break out when members of different tribes come into contact. Skalnik’s definition of tribe is definitely an exercise in pure futility.

In Ethnic Groups And Boundaries, social anthropologist Fredrik Barth says that, as it is understood in social anthropology, tribal groupings “are categories of ascription and identification by the actors themselves” that structure interaction between people. In the opinion of social anthropologists, tribe has other attributes in addition to that basic one. A tribe, they believe, is largely biologically self-perpetuating, shares fundamental cultural values, makes up a field of communication, and has membership which identifies itself, and is identified by others as constituting a group different from other groups of the same order. I have applied that meaning of tribe to my tribe, the Luo tribe, and it has not worked.

A tribe is a label. A tribe is a logo. A tribe is a categorical identity which classifies you in terms of the biological background assumed to form your ancestry. A tribe is a socially defined biological master status others, who are excluded from it, use to recognize the difference between you and them and which you use to distinguish yourself from them. The other has its own socially defined biological master status. A tribe is a socially defined master status from which, because it is strictly enforced by sanctions of all sorts and the many mechanisms of social control that are the cages in which our lives are kept, those it includes and those it excludes can escape only at the price of achieving the status of social deviants. As we do know, however, most people conform to the rigidities that are our lives, so that the tribe’s stranglehold on us is immensely powerful indeed. Once fully constructed, tribes tend to stick like leeches.

But they are not concrete, they cannot be seen, they cannot be touched, and they cannot be counted. They are not real. But they count. And they have real and palpable consequences.

Transition to tribalism

We are members of our tribes. But tribal membership does not constitute tribalism. The existence of tribes is not a necessary and sufficient condition for tribalism to occur. For tribalism to arise, a tribe in itself must be transformed into a tribe for itself. In pre-colonial Kenya, for example, there was no tribalism, even though we had tribes. But tribes were then not tribes for themselves. Tribalism was at the time not a reality, let alone the paramount reality it is now.

It is needless to say that we fell from tribe to tribalism because of colonialism. The colonialists exploited our cultural pluralism to create tribalism. The colonialists brought with them Western nationalist discourse and ideology. Because of the discourse and ideology of nationalism, and the Western criteria for success and achievement the colonialists transplanted into Kenya, tribesmen began referring to their lots as better than their neighbours, or more advanced or superior in some way. That was tribalism.

To institutionalise tribalism, the colonialists established administrative units that were almost the same as tribal ones. The practice of tribal geography, an effective means of maintaining tribalism is still going on in Kenya.

Colonialists lived in dread of African unity and fought hard to prevent it from arising. As late as the 1930s, for example, colonial administrators sought to control the activities of the Roho Musanda, lest the members of that movement should proselytise among non-Luo communities. The “religion” of Odongo Mango, the founder of the Roho Musanda, shows his theology, was for Africans. As Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton reports in Women of Fire and Spirit: History, Faith, and Gender in Roho Religion in Western Kenya, it was the colonial administration that turned the movement into a Luo thing.

Once the colonialists had institutionalised tribalism, it now determined the life chances of individuals. Tribes were now politically significant. They now had leaders or spokesmen. They could now be represented as acting agents. They had now gone past beginning to call themselves Luos, Nandis, etc., to borrow a phrase from the nobleman in Bernard Shaw’s SAINT JOAN.

But still, and this is one of the simplest but very effective tricks used to maintain politically important collective identities, and it is to keep our tribal identities alive, the Luo, the Nandi, and so on, have to be continually invoked and pronounced by ”authorised” persons like writers, priests, prophets, politicians, journalists, administrators and tribal statisticians.

And that is how tribal statistics participate in the maintenance of tribalism. But it is not only the role of the statistics in tribalism that is the trouble with them, they are also of poor quality.

The potential benefits of tribal statistics

It must be allowed that, if tribal statistics were up to standard, they would be useful. We know there are ethnic inequalities in Kenya. Those who want to reduce the inequalities may use the statistics to establish their causes so that they design appropriate policies. Even just confirming what we already know would in itself be good enough, since we would be confident that our policies are based on fact.

The problem with counting tribes and their members is that we do not know what we are counting. Nobody really knows what a tribe is. Even the government does not know. And the way tribal membership is defined may also vary from tribe to tribe. For example, is it tribe at birth that is your tribe? Or is it acquired tribe? And if Kenyans were allowed to state more than one tribe, that is, if the question on tribe were open-ended, then we would have cases of dual or multiple tribal identities, even though tribe is a categorical identity.

Further, we inaccurately count what we do not know. And we incorrectly aggregate the figures.

The practices of tribal statistics discriminate on grounds of ethnicity. The statistics do not recognise the identities of tribes like Ogiek, and that is ethic discrimination. The statistics amalgamate diverse tribes into fictional political identities such as the Kalenjin “tribe“. The statistics have for example divided the Luo tribe into the Suba and Luo tribes. The statistics paint a misleading picture of the ethnic composition of the country.

And there is no proper reason to collect the data. The government has not documented its claims that the statistics are used in planning. It has merely asserted falsehood after falsehood.

Raila intellectuals angry with NGOs, diplomats and media

Pro-Raila Odinga intellectuals are accusing Western powers of funding the civil society movement and Kenya’s media in a plot to cut short the ODM leader’s political career.

“It seems these foreign interests don’t mind an openly concerted effort to mobilize a youth-initiated, well-funded, grassroots-based, gender-inclusive movement to stir rebellion against the Grand Coalition Government led by Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga,” explains Dr. Job Obonyo.

Ongoing civic education in Shinyalu Constituency, where a by election will be held on August 27. Picture from the Jukwaa forum.

Ongoing civic education in Shinyalu Constituency, where a by election will be held on August 27. Picture from the Jukwaa forum.

Think tanks working for Prime Minister Raila Odinga are blaming the civil society, diplomats and the media for their candidate’s dwindling popularity. Convinced that their man is infallible, these intellectuals believe that outside forces are working to ensure that Raila never captures Kenya’s highest position. They specifically blame US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger and the Mars Group which is spearheading a campaign titled, “OTNOP”.

The think tanks are furious with civil society for preaching against the “three-piece” voting pattern or “party waves.” The three-piece pattern means that voters elect a councillor, Member of Parliament and a Presidential candidate from a single party regardless of the personal characteristics of the candidate. Civil society wants Kenyans to choose leaders based on a candidate’s viability rather than political party affiliation. Raila academicians see the tactic as a threat to ODM, which took advantage of the “three-piece” system in the 2007 General Elections.

Raila’s political history is characterized by three-piece party waves. First, it was FORD Kenya in 1992, then the National Development Party (NDP) in 1997 followed by the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) in 2002.

Raila’s think tanks are dominated by Marxists who were sympathetic to his father, the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. As Vice President after Kenya’s independence from Britain, Jaramogi fell out with founding President Jomo Kenyatta due to his communist beliefs and ties to the Soviet Union. Kenyatta was more Westward looking and reconciliatory towards the departing British. There was a brief ideological tussle in the 1960s which culminated with Jaramogi in prison. Since then, Kenya has been openly pro-British and pro-United States, and supports the US-led War on Terror.

Kenya’s Marxists have blamed capitalism for the widening gap between rich and poor. They also criticize the capitalist system for neglecting low-productivity areas such as Northern and North Eastern Kenya. The 2007 election campaigns revived the ideological conflict of the 1960s, with Raila proposing political and economic reforms that were socialist in everything but name. President Mwai Kibaki, on the other hand, is a firm practitioner of the capitalist model of economic development.

On many occasions, Raila has talked of land redistribution and thereby earned the wrath of the propertied classes. Raila wants the government to control house rents and the prices of consumer goods. Indeed, Raila’s Lang’ata constituency has previously been the scene of rent riots after he called on landlords to cut rents by half. At the Kenyan Coast, Raila wants to take land from Arab owners for redistribution to Africans. More recently, Raila championed a government plan to provide subsidized maize to the poor but the plan did not succeed because the government lacks a retail distribution chain.

During the 2007 elections, Raila was criticized for planning to impoverish the rich instead of empowering the poor to generate wealth. This, say critics, is not the solution to inequality.

Raila’s intellectual wing has named the US Ambassador as the West’s pointman in its strategy for Kenya. “For the past year and a half, US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, has several times urged the Kenyan youth to mobilize ‘themselves’ and force the grand coalition government to bring reforms,” writes Dr Obonyo in the Jukwaa internet forum.

The pro Raila intelligentsia are convinced that Ranneberger wants a Colour Revolution similar to what happened in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. The colour revolutions are notable for the important role of NGOs and particularly student activists in organising creative nonviolent resistance. So far these movements have been successful in Serbia (the Bulldozer Revolution of 2000), in Georgia’s Rose Revolution (2003), in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution (2004), and Kyrgyzstan’s Tulip Revolution (2005).

In Kenya, Raila’s backers are accusing the Mars Group of undermining the Prime Minister. The Mars Group is running a Partnership for Change and has been distributing T-shirts labelled “OTNOP” (phonetically pronounced “OTPOR”). OTNOP means ‘Non Violent Resistance’ in Serbian – engaging grassroots folks on civic duty. OTNOP is currently teaching Kenyans to avoid the three-piece voting system, reject violence and refuse cash handouts. For this reason, OTNOP is seen in some quarters as a threat.

The Mars Group is associated with anti-corruption activist Mwalimu Mati. Last December, Mati was briefly detained for leading disruptions during Jamhuri Day celebrations and which greatly embarrassed President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Security services are convinced that Mati is inciting disaffection amongst members of the public and questioned him during his three day detention. It is interesting that Raila think tanks have swallowed what the security services have told them.

It is also interesting that both Raila and Kibaki are attacking the civil society and diplomats using language similar to former President Daniel arap Moi’s speeches in the 1990s. Back then, when Kibaki and Raila were in the opposition, Moi warned against Western powers funding civil society and opposition parties for seditious purposes. Kibaki and Raila rejected Moi’s arguments and fiercely championed independence of thought and association. Now, the tables have turned.

The Raila intelligentsia are still convinced that their man is popular. “Polls also show that Raila Odinga is overwhelmingly favoured to lead the country while the same NGOs keep blurting the trumpet sounds that Kibaki-and-Raila need to step down and allow change to happen,” writes Obonyo.

To prove their distaste for the activities of Ranneberger and the Mars Group, Raila academics have dismissed the Colour Revolutions as “fake.”

Click here to see Job Obonyo’s discussion on the Jukwaa website.

Click to read about the Partnership for Change on the Mars Group website.

Kimathi Statue defaced in Nairobi

A monument built in honour of freedom fighter Dedan Kimathi has been defaced by leaflets denigrating his legacy. The authors of the leaflets are as yet unknown.

Statue of Dedan Kimathi showing anonymous posters placed on the night of 20 - 21st August, 2009

The base of Dedan Kimathi's monument showing leaflets placed on the night of 20 - 21st August, 2009


The leaflets were placed on the night of 20 – 21st August. By this evening (21st August), neither the Nairobi City Council nor the Kenya Police had removed the offending posters. Kimathi’s statue is sealed off and it would have been difficult for anyone else to be seen jumping over the barriers to remove the leaflets.

It is not yet clear who is responsible for this action but Mau Mau still remains a controversial era in Kenya’s history. 60 years after British forces defeated Mau Mau, and 45 years after Kenya’s independence, opinion is split over whether to regard Mau Mau as liberation heroes or simply terrorists.

Kenya’s plunge into ethnic-driven politics has not made matters any easier. The fact that Mau Mau was dominated by the Kikuyu, Embu and Meru ethnic groups has raised further controversy regarding the intepretation of Kenya’s history.

Dedan Kimathi was a Mau Mau leader, who rose to the rank of Field Marshall. He was captured by British colonial forces and executed on 18th February 1957. His remains have never been traced. The Kimathi monument was erected on Kimathi Street, Nairobi to commemorate 50 years of his execution.

Many of the Africans that collaborated with British forces in defeating Mau Mau took over the reigns of power after independence. They remain extremely influential in Kenyan politics and probably see the erection of Kimathi’s statue as an insult.

Update August 23:

It is Saturday and the leaflets are yet to be removed. It has been more than 24 hours since they first appeared at the base of the monument.

Raila, Ruto clash not surprising at all

Deep ideological differences between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture Minister William Ruto are responsible for the split in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

raila_rutoIn their eagerness, or perhaps desperation, to win power in the 2007 General Elections, Raila and Ruto disguised their personal differences to unite under the ODM party. Both men knew that they could not get into government by themselves. This was more the case when Kalonzo Musyoka left ODM in mid 2007.

Immediately after Kalonzo’s exit, Raila and Ruto got into a very strong alliance that helped bring the Luo and Kalenjin votes directly to Raila’s presidential candidacy. Come the elections, the Luo and Kalenjin voted for Raila en-masse. When President Mwai Kibaki was declared the winner, the Luo and Kalenjin were at the forefront in protesting the election results. The Prime Minister himself has acknowledged the role of Kalenjin warriors in forcing Kibaki to the negotiating table.

Today, that alliance lies in tatters. Raila and Ruto have inevitably parted ways and are both seeking alternative allies in readiness for the 2012 elections. While Raila is an obvious candidate, Ruto sees himself as presidential material for Kenya’s future. He will either run for the office or support somebody else in exchange for the Vice Presidency or the Premiership. Those mentioned as Ruto’s possible allies in 2012 are current Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Meanwhile, Raila is talking to politicians from Central Kenya in a bid to woo Kikuyu, Embu and Meru votes.

Raila and Ruto come from opposing schools of political thought. Raila is a socialist who learnt politics from his father, former Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Due to Communist leanings, Jaramogi fell out with President Jomo Kenyatta in 1966 and became a perpetual opposition to the Kenyatta and Moi administrations until his death in 1994. Jaramogi inculcated socialism in Raila by sending him to study Engineering in the former East Germany which was a Communist state. In the 1980s, Raila was tortured for involvement in the 1982 coup attempt. It was almost as though President Daniel arap Moi was deliberately targeting Raila in order to cause psychological anguish to Jaramogi.

Ruto, on the other hand, was an ardent student of the Moi brand of politics. Picked from obscurity before the 1992 General Elections, Ruto was appointed second in command of a new organization called “Youth for KANU 1992” or YK92 in short. YK92 had only one goal: to use any means necessary to ensure the victory of Moi and the KANU party. YK92 received an unlimited amount of funds to buy support for KANU. The source of the cash was a mystery but it is believed that the government engaged in massive printing of money. The Goldenberg scandal could have provided more slush funds.

Moi and KANU managed to win the 1992 elections but, needless to say, the operations of YK92 had flooded the economy with paper money. The years 1993 – 1994 witnessed the highest inflation in Kenya’s history as prices of basic commodities doubled and trebled. This was when the Shs500 currency note was introduced.

Come the 1997 elections, Moi supported William Ruto’s candidacy in Eldoret North constituency against the late Reuben Chesire. The interesting angle is that Reuben Chesire was related to Moi. However, friendship counts for little in politics and Moi is the master of use-and-dump strategies. With Moi’s backing, Ruto won the elections and was appointed to the cabinet. By 2002, Ruto was a powerful Minister for Internal Security and an ardent defender of Moi.

In a sense, Ruto symbolized the arrogance and corruption of Moi’s last years of office. He displayed a great deal of single-mindedness when defending Moi’s choice of Uhuru Kenyatta as successor in the 2002 elections. Ruto virulently opposed the constitutional review process led by Professor Yash Pal Ghai and which culminated in the Bomas conference. Often, Ruto appeared on national television frothing at the mouth as he dismissed constitutional reforms as an attack on the Moi presidency. To Ruto’s credit, Kibaki ally John Michuki confirmed in 2003 that constitutional reforms were meant to remove Moi and KANU from power.

Ruto has never subscribed to Raila’s populist approach to politics. Ruto is a hardcore conservative more comfortable with Mwai Kibaki than with Raila Odinga. It was naked opportunism that brought Raila and Ruto together. Raila needed the Kalenjin vote and Ruto wanted to get back into government after KANU’s loss in 2002.

Ruto is among politicians who believe that Raila is a reckless activist who cannot be trusted with leading Kenya. Ruto is certainly not a socialist. He is an extremely wealth man who made lots of money through his connections to Moi. Apart from unlimited access to YK92 funds, Ruto was allocated government land which he afterwards sold to state-owned corporations at a huge profit. For instance, Ruto made hundreds of millions of shillings selling land to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). Ruto’s companies won tenders to supply government departments and state corporations.

In 2007, Moi decided to support President Mwai Kibaki’s candidacy and told Ruto to follow suit. Ruto was convinced that Raila had the best chance of winning and refused to heed Moi’s calling. Now, it looks like Ruto is going back home to Moi and Uhuru Kenyatta as Raila’s political fortunes dwindle by the day.

One final point to consider: Did Ruto really fall out with Moi in 2007 or was it part of Moi’s political strategy of ensuring he had a stake in government regardless of who won the election? The hard fact is that if Raila had won the presidency, Ruto would have taken care of Moi’s interests.

Today, with Moi firmly on Kibaki’s side, Ruto doesn’t seem to be doing badly either. Early this year, Ruto survived a no-confidence motion in Parliament thanks to support from pro-Kibaki legislators.