From the perspective of an outsider, Raila has always been the crisis facing Kenya. They’ve been told that he is a perennial loser, a rubble-rouser and that he wouldn’t accept even obvious “defeat”.
Uhuru is by funny happenstance, one of the most popular presidents in Africa, taking position three in a list of ten. But it has not always been that rosy at home and death has visited his adversaries, their ages notwithstanding.
Well the boycott of the repeat elections told the world a different story and greatly embarrassed the peddlers of this lie. Kibaki and the successor government have always struggled for legitimacy and the narrative that Raila is a power hungry leader fell flat on its face.
The 2007 elections was clearly lost by Kibaki. His incorporation of Kalonzo did not help matters and the country continued to burn. They had to go back to the drawing board. A personality with a following bigger than kalonzo had to be found, if they has to stand a chance at beating Raila, their nemesis.
In Raila camp was a formidable team and the government decided to cut the man down to size by chipping away at his support block. The Pentagon gave Raila a national outlook and it is this Pentagon that Uhuru planners decided to go for.
They went all tongs for the Pentagon and used a variety of means to dismantle it, offering lucrative government positions to Raila’s erstwhile friends.
Ruto was a target and. winning him over or containing him was urgent. The likes of Balala, Ngilu and Duale were just but icing to the cake.
Behind Ruto is a warrior community armed to the teeth and regimented into battle ready battalions, the so called age sets and age groups. In addition to that, they vote to the last man.
Ruto had scandals even before joining the opposition grouping. The ADC land case was an important stick in dealing with him and coupled with other power tactics, he had to capitulate and join the government. The truth of the matter us that joining Uhuru was the best strategic decision Ruto made.
The Kikuyu power barons had made it clear even to the international community that they were not going to hand over power to Raila come rain or high water. That was not a situation Ruto wanted to find himself facing again as an adversary. It would have cost him even his life.
In Uhuru camp, containment had been achieved. The Ruto issue had now to wait to be solved at a later date. Uhuru had also talked bitterly about the Kiambaa massacre and that too had to wait.
It is easy to understand! Ruto has a sharp mouth and millions of loyal followers, a population which falls in line on command. Bringing Ruto into the fold has many advantages to the government. It denies Raila the Nilotic vote, taking away the numbers Raila would need to challenge the Kibaki power plan.
That does not, again, negate the fact that many in the government have a bone to chew with Ruto but they don’t know how to go about it. Every time an opportunity comes, procrastination becomes the order of the day.
By coming together with Uhuru to form a single ticket, the powers that be dug themselves even into a deeper problem, unwittingly.
Uhuru is servicing his last term and all that was pushed into the backshelves are now being dusted for a relook. But this is not going to be a walk in the park.
And it is evolving into the mother of all crises facing them. The question is how to deal with Ruto at the end of Uhurus term, not what to do with him. It has already been decided what is to be done to him. The methodology is the question.
There’s also the big issue if the public promises Uhuru made to him as regards succession.
Should they fulfil their end of their bargain or renege on it! That’s the million dollar question.
Ruto has also not helped matters for himself and this country. There are corruption scandals in all the sectors his lieutenants have been posted to.
The allegations are serious and prosecutable. But doing the prosecutions without seeming to be outrightly targeting Ruto has gotten the government into a corner.
Perhaps this is the time to pick the gauntlet and go for the kill by the government. The handshake must have been a plan by Uhuru to cushion himself from any fallout and Raila can be conveniently used to help Uhuru take some flak.
Rift valley politicians like throwing barbs. Threats is their main item of trade, crisis their source of leverage. But the same game can be played on them seeing that the corruption scandals have exposed their underbelly, a ruthless and cold calculating politicians who do not give the least of any care to their people. Have the maize farmers been paid? You know the answer.
It is clear the corruption scandals are eating away at the heart of this country. It is also true that most of those embroiled in the scandals are Ruto’s men.
Prosecuting them might not earn the feared ire from the rift valley and if the nation is to make it, the issue must be expedited with.
When it comes to money, Ruto has it and he can use the same to buy himself power. Many senior citizens fear him and some have said they will emigrate from the country should he win the presidency.
That’s obviously not an enviable situation. And their reasoning must be out of dire outlooks since they are privy to more serious information than the public.
The sectors suffering massive heamorage are key to the survival of the state and it is a wonder whether the guys eating up these sectors understand sustainability.
Maize is Kenya’s staple food and therefore a security item but they still steal without any care. Mp Keter couldn’t be more clear when he said the scandal was theirs.
A country cannot modernize without cheap power yet here we are struggling with grand looting at the power ministry. There is stealing at the pipeline, at the KCC and many others.
Kenyans know that Ruto is not an ideal presidential candidate but there’s little they can do. Mind you, the public is not always known for its logic. Most will not even vote, and those who vote will not bother whether their vote counts or not.
The ball is now squarely in Uhuru court. The Ruto of today is his creation and the onus is on him to slay him if he is serious about putting Kenya back on the right track.
It is a crisis, built, fed and fattened by him. Can he lead on this? We can only wait and see.