President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have broken ranks in the Ugandan Presidential election race expected in 2016.
Ruto involvement came in the wake of revelations that his wife, Rachel, has been widely quoted in a section of Ugandan media as having hosted the wife of expelled former Prime Minister Amama Mbazazi.
Amama Mbazazi, along time Museveni ally, recently lost glory when media reports in the country started pitching him as a potential Museveni challenger. Hugely popular within the ranks of the ruling party National Resistance Movement, NRM, Mbazazi was quickly fired from his premiership position.
Mrs Mbazazi, a powerful figure in the Ugandan women movement and a mobilizer in her own right had sought ‘strategies’ from Mrs Ruto who is increasingly becoming the face of women empowerment in Kenya.
Through her table banking initiative, Mrs Ruto, unlike first lady Margaret Kenyatta, is reaching to the core of womenfolk in Kenya, something that most TNA members have been openly hostile to, albeit secretly.
In Uganda, Mrs Ruto is seen to be holding forte for Mr Ruto, Kenya’s schemer per excellence and Deputy President.
Enter President Kenyatta.
The Kenyan leader is fatefully a Museveni ally. Since 2007 when Museveni endorsed the reelection of Kibaki even as the dispute raged on and country turned into death orgies, Uhuru and Museveni struck an unwritten partnership which has seen the Ugandan leader expend his personal and country’s diplomatic energies in fighting, on behalf of Uhuru, the ‘Kenyan cases’ at the International Criminal Court.
No other president in the region has blatantly accused, and disparaged, the ICC and the West more than Museveni. He started out as the West’s blue-eyed boy but has since graduated, as most of Africa’s despots who came to power through western backing – to be the harshest critic of ‘western neocolonialism. This is despite the fact that Uganda is as aid-dependent today as she was when Museveni first took over.
When he recently put to law a locally popular anti-homosexuals bill, the West came on him hammer and tongs, including being thrown out of a New York hotel on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. As the plot thickened on him, the Ugandan-African could not ‘stand his ground, ate humble pie and repealed the law.
Interestingly, the anti-homosexuals law was among the point of departure with his long time friend, ally and premier, Mbazazi. The premier had supported the law, striking the liberal tone ‘permissible’ in the West. You won’t believe it but this too is the major propaganda being peddled on the man – that he is a colonial lackey!
Shit! The man was with you for close to 30 years!
Anyway, the long and short of it is that the two Kenyan leaders are, for now, on two opposite sides in the Ugandan presidential race. Of course, there will be blinking, and, most likely, Bill Ruto may decide to buy his time; after all, defeating Museveni in Uganda is like dethroning Uhuru as the de facto leader of the Agikuyu sandbox currently.