The toxic relationship between deputy president William Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta will have a negative impact on Ruto’s chances of winning the presidency in 2022. While most Kalenjins will brush-off the insurmountable possibility that William Ruto will lose the 2022 elections, the odds are stacked against the Sugoi native.
William Ruto by himself without the Mount Kenya kingpins’ support does not stand a chance of winning the presidency.If Ruto was wise, he could have treated Uhuru as a golden goose and tried his best to be at good terms with him. But little is known about what triggered president Uhuru Kenyatta’s passionate dislike for his deputy president considering that their bromancy blossomed during their first term in office.
But a majority of Kenyans think Mr. Ruto fell out of favor from President Uhuru because the deputy president started campaigning for 2022 prematurely. But another school of thought thinks that president Kenyatta’s “Handshake” with the ODM Party leader, Raila Odinga is what triggered the animosity between the two top politicians in the country. William Ruto saw the handshake as political sabotage against his chances of being president in 2022.
This is because the tenets of the “Handshake” was to launch the Building Bridges Initiative which in turn will lead to a referendum in which Kenyans will be asked to change the 2010 Constitution in order to allow the creation of a position of a Prime Minister with a ceremonial president ( a State of India model).
Creation of a powerful prime minister who will also serve as the head of state means that President Uhuru Kenyatta will be eligible to contest for this position. And since Raila Odinga will also be in competition for 2022, Ruto saw his chances of ascending to power vanish overnight!
It is just that! William Samoei Ruto does not stand a chance of winning against Kenya’s top influential politicians. They are the leaders of the two most popular political parties in modern Kenya: the Orange Democratic Movement Party (ODM) and the Jubilee Party.
Even if Uhuru Kenyatta supported William Ruto’s ambitions of becoming president in 2022, most political bandits will say Ruto will still have a difficult time garnering enough votes to propel him to the throne in the next presidential elections. To make the situation worse, Ruto does not have Mr. Kenyatta’s support at the moment!
But the flip side is that Raila Odinga has proven time and time again that he can get respectable amount of support to ascend into the presidency. For example, Raila Odinga got 44% of the national vote in both 2013 and 2017. It is worth noting that the former Prime Minister did not get any significant vote from Central Kenya in both of the two past elections.
This is because Uhuru Kenyatta had cultivated the hatred of the lakeside statesman among the GEMA nations by calling him “kimundu”. But it looks like Mr. Odinga is lucky this time round as Uhuru Kenyatta has warmed up to Mr. Odinga almost immediately after the conclusion of the 2017 presidential elections re-run.
But wait a minute. Did Uhuru and Mr. Odinga collude with each other not to compete against themselves in the re-run? It seems suspicious that after Chief Justice Maraga annulled the elections results, Mr. Odinga boycotted the polls. The son of Jaramogi even went ahead and swore himself as the People’s president with surprising level of impunity!
Raila Odinga was not teargassed during the ceremony of being sworn in and neither was he accused of capital crimes such as treason, even though most people will agree that swearing oneself as the head of state clearly amounts to treason in almost all countries of the world.
But all that is already forgotten as son of Jomo is actively rooting for Mr. Odinga through the Building Bridges Intitiative (BBI) propaganda.
It is worth noting that Ruto’s chances of winning the election is better if the status quo is maintained. By that I mean, if the constitution is not changed. This is so because William Ruto can be assured that he will not be contesting against his own boss come 2022 as the current constitution bars Mr. Kenyatta from running for the presidency.
This leaves Raila Odinga as the only formidable opponent to give the Sugoi-based deputy president sleepless nights before they face each other at the 2022 polls. The chances are better under that scenario because anything can happen to Mr. Odinga and hence leave the door wide open for Ruto to have a walk in the park in his pursuit of greatness in the next two years.
Essentially speaking, with the current constitution intact, William Ruto’s chances of becoming president in 2022 stands at 40%. On the other hand, if the constitution is changed and hence paving way for president Uhuru Kenyatta to compete for the highest political office in the country, Ruto’s chances of becoming head of state in 2022 drops to a dismal 7%!
This is because changing the constitution will ensure that Ruto will be facing two political opponents who he has virtually no chance of winning against. A thought of William Ruto winning in a head to head contest with Uhuru Kenyatta is laughable. That is like saying a human can outweigh an elephant on a weight contest!
Currently, there is a possibility that the Building Bridges Initiative will be shelved as the Kenyan Government does not have money to hold a referendum. This follows president Uhuru Kenyatta’s trip to France a couple of weeks ago seeking a loan from the European nation.
But sources privy to that trip intimated to the Daily Post that Mr. Kenyatta was turned away as France refused to give Kenya a loan owing to the misuse of the COVID-19 money through the KEMSA scandal. France was also rumored to dislike the acrimonious relationship between Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy president William Ruto.
As per French president Emmanuel Macron, a dysfunctional government will not be best positioned to repay the loan. Hence a risk to consider before signing the loan for a politically volatile country like Kenya.
Also towards the end of last week, the National Treasury said that the Kenyan Government is broke and hence does not have the financial resources to conduct a referendum. This is because the estimated cost of conducting a referendum was projected to be around Ksh. 10 billion.
Even IEBC said in back in February this year that the commission does not have money to hold a referendum because it had not factored it in for the 2020/21 budget.
“There is no provision for a referendum in our budget. Until we get writs from the speaker, we cannot proceed to budget for a referendum,” IEBC CEO Obadiah Keitany said.
Even with no referendum and no change of constitution, Uhuru Kenyatta has effectively neutralized William Ruto by building a coalition with Rift Valley politicians like Gideon Moi and Isaac Ruto. This means that the Kalenjin vote will be split into two hence denying Ruto the numbers to win in his stronghold province.
Also, after being chased out of Kisii County last week, Ruto returned to Nyamira County two days ago to woo the Abagusii community to vote for him in the 2022 elections. What Mr. Ruto needs to be aware of is that both the Kisii and Nyamira Counties will overwhelmingly vote for Fred Matiang’i as he will be on the ballot.
After all, voting for one’s tribe is the most Kenyan thing most people have been doing since the country got independence from Britain some 60 years ago! The deputy president should not be surprised of this because the Kalenjins also will vote for him because he is the man of the soil in their region.
Compound this with the fact that in Kambaland, Alfred Mutua and Kivutha Kibwana have also said they will both be on the ballot for the presidency in 2022. With Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party effectively tacked into Jubilee Party after successful persuasion by Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr. Ruto can also forget the possibility of getting significant votes from Kenya’s fourth largest tribe.
This is because Kambas also vote along tribal lines. In fact, just over a week ago, Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka (sheepishly) discouraged his own tribesmen from going to contest for gubernatorial positions outside Kambaland. Mr. Musyoka was talking about the issue of Kambas leaving Makueni, Machakos and Kitui counties (which are predominantly inhabited by the Kambas) to go and vie for governorship positions in neighboring coastal counties such as Taita Taveta, Kilifi and Tana River counties.
For the Wiper Party leader, the top county jobs belong to the locals of the area so as to show respect to one’s hosts in the region. To Mr. Musyoka, a Kisii man cannot travel all the way from Kisii town and successfully contest and be elected governor of Murang’a county that is predominantly inhabited by the Kikuyu community.
While some people will scream “hate speech!” and call on the Cohesive and Integration Commision to arrest Mr. Musyoka, the former NASA principal just said what is in the minds of most Kenyans, whether they like to admit it or not.
Tribe is in the DNA of all Kenyans. Tribe is what race is for the United States of America. Whereas race is a polarising sociological issue for the world’s sole superpower, Kenyans are obsessed with knowing what vernacular you speak at home. To put it bluntly, the tribe you belong in.
So much are they that it is not unheard of for people to shamelessly ask you, “what is your tribe?” especially if your last name does not contain last names such as Mwangi, Nyaboke, Rotich, Otieno, Mutiso, and many others that make it easy to pinpoint one’s tribal affiliations.
This makes Ruto’s chances of winning the presidency a tall order to fathom with because when push comes to shove, people will coalesce to and vote for one of their own, especially in a high profile job like the presidency.
On the other hand, Raila Odinga will only need a mere 10% of the Central Region vote to bag the presidency. The ODM party leader can be assured of single-handedly bringing in at least 44% support on his own and will count on his brother from another mother, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta to bring the vote from the Mount Kenyatta Region. We all know that with Uhuru Kenyatta’s political clout and popularity in the region, a mere 10% vote from the region will be a walk in the park for him.