President William Ruto’s quest for power has been nothing short of audacious and relentless, marked by a cunning strategy.
Ruto began his quest for power immediately after Uhuru Kenyatta took over the presidency from Mwai Kibaki. He positioned himself strategically and worked tirelessly to build a strong support base both within and outside of government. He managed to create a network of loyalists who were willing to do anything to help him achieve his political ambitions.
His political machinations were not just limited to his supporters; he also engaged in shady deals and amassed a considerable amount of wealth. He used his position as the then Deputy President to strike these deals and position his cronies and loyalists in strategic positions of power. He also engaged in a politics of witch-hunt, contempt, and sabotage that sowed division among Kenyans.
Ruto’s quest for power saw him brainwash the Mount Kenyans, persuading them to forget that he and President Kenyatta had chocked Kenyans with heavy loans and together plundered the economy during their first term in office. He used church leaders to gain favor and donate goodies to them in the name of Harambee.
During the first term of Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, Ruto took advantage of the trust that the president had in him to strategize and position his cronies and loyalists to strike shady deals. He also worked on his dalliance with both URP and TNA politicians, making it hard for President Kenyatta to fight them since the 2017 elections were just in the horizon and he would certainly need them all.
After the disputed 2017 General elections, Uhuru Kenyatta brought Raila Odinga on board to stop the unrest and tame Raila and his followers, bringing back sanity and calmness to the nation, and creating a conducive working environment for his second and constitutionally last term. The two, however, did not seem to have a clear agenda on their getting together and working hand in hand.
While Uhuru’s administration completed many projects, the question remains: where was the money in his first term? The open misuse of public funds witnessed in the second term suggests that corruption and shady deals went unnoticed in the first term.
With the Ruto administration currently in place, Kenyans can only adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Ruto’s 100-day narrative is already a clear emotional con game to his hustlers. More than seven months down the line, there’s nothing tangible they have done as far as their manifesto is concerned.
Ruto’s administration is finally taking shape with billionaire hustlers occupying both constitutional and unconstitutional offices, imagined and hurriedly formed offices. Taxpayers are expected to pay and sustain a whooping 50plus unconstitutional office bearers. The removal of all subsidies put in place by Uhuru also raises concerns.
Ruto’s grab for power is a cause for concern, and Kenyans must be vigilant to ensure that their interests are protected. The two weekly demonstrations that remind Ruto of his promises are a step in the right direction. Kenyans must hold their leaders accountable for their actions, and the media must remain vigilant in exposing any wrongdoing. The future of Kenya depends on it.
*Mr Calystus Wafula, is the chairman Jay Network Lobby Group*