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Citizen Weekly

Monday, 6 April 2015

WHAT UHURU THINKS OF RUTO


Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to name and shame those involved in corrupt deals and to demand that they step aside has caused simmering discontent across the political divide.
Uhuru handlers had warned him that corruption was bound to taint his Jubilee administration ahead of 2017 elections and to cost him and his deputy William Ruto who eyes to succeed him at the expiry of his two terms.
But what has raised eyebrows is the manner in which Uhuru handled the release of the list which has earned Uhuru support and criticism in equal measure. Two Ethics and Anti Corruption Commissioners have disowned the report saying it was not updated and that the commission did not approve the list.
Sources say Uhuru through his personal assistant Jomo Gechaga requested for the report from EACC CEO Halake Wako without involving Ruto whom he knew would oppose release of the names. We have information that the two held a stormy meeting at State House for close to five hours before they agreed that the list be tabled in parliament.
Reports indicate that Ruto had opposed the release of the names fearing that it was going to backfire on him since most of the people named were his direct appointees representing the URP wing of the Jubilee coalition.
The purge saw Ruto’s close allies step aside over allegations of corruption. Ruto’s allies mentioned in the list are cabinet secretaries Felix Koskei (Agriculture), Davis Chirchir (Energy) and Kazungu Kambi (Labour). His chief of staff, Marianne Kitany is in the list too. Others are managing trustee of NSSF Richard Lang’at and MD Kenya Pipeline Charles Tanui. Sources say Ruto had pleaded with Uhuru to spare Kitany but he would hear none of it. By naming Kitany, it was clear that the president had taken the anti-corruption war right into Ruto’s office considering that the chief of staff is a particularly critical position.
Ruto and his close allies claim the list was hurriedly done to the extent that it even included names of people whose cases had been concluded long time ago. One such case is that of FKF chairman Sam Nyamweya whose case had been concluded and a not guilty verdict passed on him.
Another Ruto ally whose case had been heard and determined but still included in the list is that of former Nzoia Sugar MD Francis Oyatsi. His inclusion in the list was, according to analysts, to embarrass Ruto and portray him as having brought on board corrupt individuals.
Patrick Osero who was Ruto’s YK’92 colleague and  chairman of the Agricultural Finance Corporation is also a close Ruto ally has been shown the door. Osero in January claimed the ownership of the Weston Hotel in Lang’ata which was linked to the grabbing of a primary school playground. Sources say his appointment was a deal brokered by Ruto through Agriculture CS Felix Kosgey.
Uhuru and his allies have been secretly complaining that the allegations that the two have been involved in tribal appointments are all about Ruto’s influence. Uhuru handlers now say that the recent appointment of Inspector General of police Joseph Boinett was influenced by Ruto. Uhuru had to bow to pressure from Ruto and his Kalenjin allies who brokered the deal.
So as not to be seen as a tribalist, Uhuru was sending signals to Ruto when he subjected the appointment of Governor of Central Bank of Kenya to a competitive process where the Public Service Commission was mandated to advertise, interview and shortlist the best candidate. Had Uhuru played into Ruto’s tricks, he would have single handedly appointed the governor or influenced the appointment but chose not to.
Claims of tribal appointments are slowly making Uhuru lose trust amongst Kenyans. It is for this reason that sources now say that Uhuru is contemplating dissolving the entire cabinet and forming a government of national unity to reflect the face of Kenya.
Uhuru is well aware of the rift in Ruto’s political backyard of Rift Valley and the emerging political forces and rebellion against his number two. It is the rebellion that has forced Uhuru to step in and will soon tour Rift Valley to cool political temperatures.
Some Kalenjin MPs led by Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter are known to have given the DP sleepless nights. Last week, some URP MPs held a secret meeting where they said the purge targeted the Kalenjins and blamed it on the DP and a clique around him. They claim the DP has failed to accept things are headed in the wrong direction.
Those opposed to Ruto claim that he has failed to use his strength in the Jubilee government to improve the quality of life of the people of Rift Valley.
There have been complaints that the leaders from the region can not access the DP and professionals are not allowed to meet him. The Kalenjin leaders now claim that they have told the DP to make his office as friendly as possible.
Uhuru allies are known to have warned the DP against being misled by the so-called Sky Team which refers to a group of politicians known to have the DP’s ear. The Sky team includes Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Kericho senator Charles Keter.
Ruto is also accused of closing his ears at a time when tea and maize farmers from his backyard are blaming the government for not doing enough to support them as was promised during the 2013 campaigns.
Last week, farmers took to the streets in Eldoret town accusing the Jubilee administration of letting them down. This came after the National Cereals and Produce Board closed its doors to maize farmers in the town and its environs.
Then there is the Governor Isaac Ruto factor in Kalenjin politics. Guv Ruto now claims that the EACC has been roped into his political war with the DP. Ruto claims that the DP has fallen out with a number of Kalenjin professionals and tycoons who financed him in 2013.
The Bomet governor has time and again accused the DP of funding his political rivals, who include MPs and  ward pepresentatives, to destabilise his administration with a view to having him impeached.
Some of the people Ruto had abandoned but who supported him in 2013 are Hellen Sambili, Jebii Kilimo, Nicholas Biwott, Zipporah Kittony, Kipruto Kittony, Sally Kosgey, David Lang’at, Paul Chepkwony, Cleophas Lang’at, Silas Simwoto, Zakayo Cheruiyot and David Kimaiyo.
Others are Joshua Chepkwony, Mark Too, Joshua Kulei, David Lang’at, William Kettienya, Kangogo Bowen, William Kisang’ and Alex Tolgos. Talk is now rife that the DP does not want anybody who has fortunes in Kalenjin land to win government tenders fearing for his political future.
Uhuru is aware that the DP does not get along well with  retired president Daniel Moi and his fvourite son Moi. The DP’s fear is that Uhuru is close to the elder Moi. But the Moi family, which is understood to be uncomfortable with the idea of Ruto succeeding Uhuru is working overdrive to neutralise the DP’s popularity in his Rift Valley backyard.
It is also being whispered that apart from the URP/TNA MoU, there is another secret MoU between the Kenyatta family and the Moi family that was to see both Uhuru and Gideon become presidents in this country. Those who are privy to this MoU say it is still in force with one part already fulfilled. They now say it is Uhuru’s duty to ensure Gideon becomes president.
The Kenyatta, Moi families close ties was displayed when Kabarak University honoured Uhuru with a Doctor of Leadership (Honoris Causa) degree for his sterling leadership and management of the country’s affairs.
The Mois and the Kenyattas have a long history and an interesting future that is already unfolding in the ongoing interactions, both overt and covert. Considering a rebellion against Ruto in the Rift Valley, there is a political and leadership vacuum that Gideon evidently wishes to take advantage of.
But it may meet opposition if Uhuru tries to support Gideon in 2022 because many Kenyans will feel like the presidency is being made a family affair.
Gideon has accompanied Uhuru to Sudan and AU summits in Ethiopia as well as to the billionaire playgrounds of Dubai to watch the elitist Formula One motor racing sport. Uhuru accompanied Gideon to the famous Kimalel goat auction where Ruto’s absence was conspicuous.
Eyebrows shot up throughout the diplomatic community in June 2014, when the United Nations Environment Assembly opened its Segment Summit and Gideon was given the official protocol duties of escorting Prince Albert II of Monaco, who attended the world environmental body’s four-day conference in Nairobi.
It was not lost on observers that Gideon escorted Albert II even to social functions and on his outings from the business of the summit. Like Albert II, Gideon is a polo enthusiast.
This unique protocol duty at Uhuru’s request underscored those meetings that the head of state has had with both Gideon and Mzee Moi at the latter’s Kabarnet Gardens residence and elsewhere.
It was also no surprise that it was Gideon himself who recommended Uhuru for the award of the honourary Doctor of Leadership degree at Kabarak University’s 10th graduation ceremony. The big question is where is Uhuru in the Gideon, Ruto battle?
Analysts say whatever way you look at it, Ruto is facing a storm in a political duel as Senator Moi and Governor Ruto gang up to finish him ahead of 2017 elections. Talk is rife about ICC case that is still giving the DP sleepless nights. Uhuru is said to be aware of the looming vacuum in Kalenjin politics in case of any eventuality that ICC finds Ruto guilty. Ruto’s fear is the determination of the Moi family to come back to power in 2022.
Although Ruto is known as a shrewd political schemer, he is facing the most testing political times. Analysts say Gideon’s game plan is to position himself to take advantage of any chance of conviction of the DP by ICC.
The rebellion in Rift Valley is likely to lead to political comeback of ODM in Rift Valley and also, Gideon and Guv Ruto could be playing the role of a spoiler for the DP in 2017.
Sources say ODM is also scheming hoping and praying that Uhuru betrays Ruto necessitating a fallout or Ruto continues being ambitious and goes for the president position come 2017 and breaking away from the Jubilee coalition. On the other hand Jubilee supporters are crossing their fingers for the coalition to be united.
Ruto allies are said to be aware of the mistakes Raila Odinga made in the NAK/LDP pre-election MoU and ODM/PNU post-election agreements which led to a bitter fallout within the parties and eventually the breakaway of the different factions within the party. If the above pre-election agreements had been covered in the constitution or by a governing law then they would have been fulfilled and there would be no fall-outs attributed to betrayal of the agreements.
This reminds us of the Narc marriage which saw Mwai Kibaki trash a pre-election MoU with the Raila brigade before he was sworn in, eventually sacking Raila and his group midterm following an embarrassing referendum defeat in 2005. He was later to form government of national unity where he brought on board opposition leaders like Simon Nyachae of Ford-People to fill the gap left when he sacked Raila and his LDP team.
It is for this reason that Uhuru is well aware that the MoU he signed with Ruto has a clause of reviewing the coalition agreements should a partner feel uncomfortable and wish to pull out. It is the same clause that Musalia Mudavadi used to withdraw after Uhuru changed his mind after proposing him as the compromise candidate.
Gideon is also said to be plotting how Kanu can fill the political vacuum once URP is disbanded to join Jap.
Apart from rebellion from his backyard, Ruto is faced with a number of cases including court cases regarding land. Fear is that not sure of the ICC outcome, Ruto and his handlers are out to enrich themselves at all costs.
Uhuru is also said to be aware that Ruto is secretly grooming Kericho senator Charles Keter to take over Kalenjin mantle should ICC find him guilty. Keter and Ruto are buddies and it is Keter who represents Ruto’s interest in the new Jap. He is also known to be involved in key decisions in cabinet secretly on behalf of the DP.
Aware that Rift Valley is likely to split before 2017 considering the Gideon, Guv Ruto gameplan and further aware that ODM might take advantage and regain ground in the region, chances are high that Uhuru might not get the Rift Valley votes as a block come 2017 and this could force a re-run which will be very dangerous. 
Uhuru handlers are also said to be secretly working on a plot that would see early preparations by TNA so as to have ample time for a new running mate from either the Rift Valley or Western to be introduced and then moulded into sellable individual nationally by Uhuru, and one who can eventually mobilise numbers behind Uhuru’s 2017 presidential bid.
Analysts say Uhuru handlers are well aware that the Kalenjin are also well aware that Uhuru needs them and that without their vote his dream for re-election in 2017 remains a pipe dream and this leaves Uhuru unstable. His opponents including Raila are on the sidelines, waiting to share the spoils. The question therefore is how Uhuru will navigate these hard times in order to retain his seat come 2017.
Even with Ruto and allies out of Jubilee, potential candidates like Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Eugene Wamalwa are likely to seek out coalition agreements with Uhuru and in the process, are likely to offer Uhuru a lifeline in the event of fallout with Ruto.
However, a united Jubilee in 2017 is Uhuru’s dream and his best guarantee for re-election and his lieutenants are more aware of this than anything else and this remains their plan A.
Uhuru’s men are also working on how to counter a scenario where Ruto runs for president, backs Raila and Cord in the 2nd Round through a post-election agreement. 
Another scenario is of three-horse race with Ruto becoming a political enemy of both Raila and Uhuru and this could drive both Raila and Uhuru into a political union.
With Jubilee coalition partners falling out, Kenyans are bound to witness much political realignment that will heavily tilt the dynamics of the 2017 contest.