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DP’s headache in top seat race as forces at work to scuttle bid

Tuesday May 19 2020
Arrival 2

President Uhuru Kenyatta received by Deputy President William Ruto at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on October 9, 2014. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By SAMWEL OWINO

Struck by the sudden ganging-up of major political players in the country against him and the axing of his allies in Parliament, Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 route to the top seat does not look rosy.
The fangs recently bared by President Uhuru Kenyatta that stung the DP’s allies in the Senate and the new-found camaraderie with ODM leader Raila Odinga now present the DP with a headache as he crafts his plan B to ascend to the house on the hill. In both Houses of Parliament, the numbers that the DP seemed to have been enjoying are no longer there.

This follows the signing of a post-election agreement with Kanu and the new-found working relationship between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, which automatically denies the DP the numbers to fight back in Parliament.

FACING DILEMMA

The number two in command is also facing the dilemma of facing his boss head-on; a move political analysts have argued would be counterproductive as it would erode the small gains he had made in the President’s Central Kenya backyard.

Close allies of the DP confided in the Nation that he does not want to make the same political mistake Mr Odinga made in taking the government head-on after elections, as he has little chance of succeeding, hence the studious silence.

“This is politics and we do not want to make the same mistake our rivals made before. We are scheming and will fight back at the right time,” said a source.

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The DP has, however, on several occasions before the banning of public gatherings to tame spread of Covid-19, stated that he remains firmly in the 2022 presidential race despite the current political machinations.

In a meeting with his lieutenants over the weekend, the DP reportedly told his troops to back down on attacks on the government for now, saying there is a clear scheme among the major political players in the country to bring him down.

It emerged in the meeting that the planned formation of the Government of National Unity and the axing of his allies from lucrative Senate positions are a clear indication that the DP’s political wings are being clipped ahead of 2022.

HANDSHAKE
However, the DP’s ally Hillary Koskei (Kipkelion West) told the Nation that the current political happenings were pre-planned before the last general election and powerful men around President Kenyatta were only waiting for him to win the second term in order to execute it.
“This is a political war. Those of us in Jubilee cannot believe President Kenyatta is doing this to his deputy. We also now know that the handshake was not meant to bring peace in this country but to finish the DP,” Mr Koskei said.

“I want to tell the President not to destabilise this country further because it has been destabilised by floods, Covid-19 and locusts. If he does not want his DP, then he should wait for 2022 and campaign against him,” Mr Koskei added.
University of Nairobi don Herman Manyora said the political frustration the DP is facing is meant to force him to drop his 2022 presidential bid.
“The frustration is meant to derail his 2022 dream, discourage his lieutenants and to scare and scatter them to the four winds. These attacks could force the DP to give the presidency a second thought,” Mr Manyora said.
Belgut MP Nelson Koech said frustrating the DP not to ascend to power in 2022 is an exercise in futility.

EXPLORING OPTIONS
“I am shocked that these people are unashamedly fighting somebody who has decided to keep his cool. The presidency is not a life-and-death position, at least for the Ruto that I know. His detractors should quit the evil plan and concentrate on something else,” Mr Koech said.

The first-term lawmaker further said that if the DP must go before his term ends, then the President must as well go because the DP was not elected in isolation.

Last week, the Nation reported that the DP’s camp is exploring several options to start pushing their agenda. This includes the reopening of churches so that they can get a platform to talk to the people.

They were also exploring frustrating the government agenda on the floor of the house when MPs resumes sittings on June 2, but this has been dropped as the numbers do not favour them.

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