William Ruto’s 5 years to strategise, plan and wait

Monday January 22 2018

Karen

Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen residence office in Nairobi on January 12, 2018. PHOTO | DPPS 

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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For Deputy President William Ruto, the next five years will be for planning, waiting, and strategizing.

The swearing-in of President Kenyatta for a second and final term puts Mr Ruto at a pole position to succeed his boss at State House in 2022.

He has served President Kenyatta with unquestioning loyalty and unbridled attention.

FLAG-BEARER

In 2013, the Deputy President and the President then facing charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court— charges that were later withdrawn— made a pact protectionist, won the election and developed a ‘bromance’ and close working relationship rare in the top office.

The Jubilee leadership had publicised that President Kenyatta will rule until 2022, after which he will support his ‘brother’ Mr Ruto. And barring any tectonic waves in the party political line-up, Mr Ruto stands as the unopposed Jubilee flag-bearer in the 2022 race.

But the University of Nairobi-trained botanist, born on December 21, 1966, has not left anything to chance, wooing support from every part of the country, while consistently gripping his Rift Valley bastion.

CAMPAIGN

Since 2010 when he strategically ran an intense campaign against the then proposed constitution, the politician has been creating networks across the country, a political resource that will come in handy when he takes an aim at the ultimate prize.

For Mr Ruto, a very ambitious politician, he has spent his political career since as early as 2007 when he backed Raila Odinga after he beat him and three others in the party nominations, to prepare for this moment: the presidency in 2022.

What now stands between him and State House is his own unbridled ambition, which sometimes brush off critical support on the way, the jinx that Central Kenya only votes for one of their own, and a feeling that he, a man who had to sell chicken on the roadside to survive, was running against the establishment.