OPANGA: Ruto’s Titanic must contend with Murathe, Raila and DPP’s icebergs - Daily Nation

Ruto’s Titanic must contend with Murathe, Raila and DPP’s icebergs

Sunday January 13 2019

William Ruto, Raila Odinga

ODM party leader Raila Odinga (left) and Deputy President William Ruto chat during the installation of Philip Anyolo as Kisumu archbishop, at Uzima University Grounds in Kisumu on January 12, 2019. PHOTO | ONDARI OGEGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KWENDO OPANGA
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In October of 2016 I warned Deputy President William Ruto to have Plan B for succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta and not rely solely on their 2012 pact by which his boss would back him to succeed him in 2022.

Last May I wrote that the DP had no presidential coattails to hang on and that all political debts had been discounted.

In other words, he was on his own and to fight his own presidential succession war until he was the last man standing.

After former vice chairman of the governing Jubilee Party David Murathe said last week that Dr Ruto is not qualified to lead Kenya and should, in fact, retire with the President in 2022, I revisited the DP's status.

The assets of war arrayed against Dr Ruto are fearsome and he must see them as worrisome and loathsome.

REPRIMAND

One, Mr Murathe is but the tip of the Central and Mount Kenya iceberg lying in the choppy waters of the Kenyatta II succession.

The sizzling action, that is the interests Mr Murathe is speaking for, is below, deep and wide.

It is important to observe that Mr Murathe may have been forced to step aside as a result of his attack on the DP, but he has not been publicly reprimanded by President Kenyatta.

Stop Waiting for Godot; It was the President who first attacked the DP, branding him a gallivanting young man.

And it is also worth of note that it was Mr Murathe who appeared to urge President Kenyatta to turn into a benevolent dictator and crash then opposition leader Raila Odinga, alias Baba, who was running an unrelenting campaign against grand corruption.

ODINGA

Now Mr Murathe is urging Mr Odinga, who has since become friends with Mr Kenyatta, to run for President in 2022. That brings us to two, the Baba factor.

The public humiliation of Dr Ruto would appear to have scaled new heights last month when President Kenyatta visited Kisumu, the principal town in Mr Odinga's native Luoland and home of Kenya's opposition politics.

Per protocol and practice, the Deputy President welcomes and introduces the President at public functions. In Kisumu this role was taken over by Mr Odinga.

Sidelined, the DP studied the camaraderie between the President and his foe-turned-bosom friend and took on chin the premeditated humiliation.

Mr Odinga relished every moment that advertised his closeness to power and the discomfiture it caused the DP and milked it for all its public worth.

Public humiliation erodes both self and public confidence.

ATWOLI

No sooner had Mr Murathe embarrassed the DP with the claim he is not qualified to lead and linking him to corruption, than the President joined Mr Odinga to celebrate his 74th birthday in the coastal tourist resort of Mombasa.

This time the DP was nowhere to be seen, which was just as well for be it his own function or somebody else's Baba sucks the air out of the room.

Baba is preparing to run for president in 2022. He expects Dr Ruto’s Titanic to shipwreck on Murathe's iceberg in the Mt Kenya region.

Three, trade union supremo Francis Atwoli. He was categorical last week that in 2022 Kenya will have a new President but it will not be Dr Ruto.

He is no prophet, neither is his empty braggadocio which says he has information, especially regarding strategy very few may be privy to.

Mr Atwoli will throw in his lot with Mr Odinga, which may see him campaign for change of the Constitution the way he campaigned for its advent throughout the country complete with live paid for television broadcasts in 2010. He would also seek to shut Dr Ruto out of Luhyaland.

CONSTITUTION

Four, corruption. Politicians, the media or the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji or all of them frequently train the anti-graft spotlight on the DP.

His allies are investigated, arrested or arraigned in court. Will Mr Hajj go after the DP? Mr Murathe aimed to ingrain that picture in Kenyan minds.

Last, the Constitution. Though all agree the eight-year-old document needs rethinking, the process has been weaponised.

In the DP's corner the change Mr Atwoli & Co seek is that which will derail Dr Ruto's presidential ambition and shore up Mr Odinga's.

The men who have been a heartbeat away from the Kenyan Presidency since 1963 have always been fought but none as viciously as Dr Ruto. For the DP 2019 has started on a rather ominous note.

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