BY: Sospeter Otieno
URPâ€™s William Ruto has lately been requesting TNAâ€™s Uhuru Kenyatta to allow him be his running mate.
Rudyard Kipling in his magnum opus, the Jungle Book, states that â€œthe wolf that shall keep the law of the jungle may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must dieâ€.
TNA should know that politics is a game of ruthlessness where the wolf that lives by the law of the jungle thrives by sucking the blood of its opponents.
That is why am asking TNA to be a wolf that makes good use of its â€œlethal weaponryâ€- its teeth- and urgently hold Rutoâ€™s URP hostage.
TNAâ€™s teeth is that the Ministers sympathetic to its cause control Internal Security, Defense, Justice and by extension the Intelligence agencies- the instruments of power.
TNA has the state leverage to blackmail URP into anything from mass URP defections, to unconditional URP submission to the whims of TNA.
The best ransom TNA should demand is what analysts believe is Rutoâ€™s control of several vote rich counties in North and South Rift, which supported him almost to a man during the 2010 constitutional referendum and which would be a good add to TNAâ€™s 2013 column.
In movies – kidnappers like warning hostage negotiators or their victims that they â€œbetter not do anything stupid, or else there will be consequencesâ€.
What â€œstupidâ€ thing can TNA tell Ruto not to do? TNA could warn URP against entering an alliance with ODM or else files containing ICC evidence against Ruto could be channeled to Bensoudaâ€™s Office of The Prosecutor at The Hague. TNA has the power to do that as will become clearer, hereinafter.
Ruto- the de-facto Party Leader is currently embroiled in a high profile legal tussle at The Hague-May God help him win the case- where he is accused of the worst crimes in the history of mankind.
I know this sounds horrible, but this is the situation that TNA should maximize to extract the most concessions from URP.
URP MPs are also about to face an election, and TNA could meet their need and offer to finance their re-election campaigns.
If thereâ€™s something wrong with financing someone elseâ€™s political campaigns, you can even call it sitting allowances during TNA/URP negotiations.
With something in it for them, URP MPs would greedily exert pressure on their party leader to accept the Uhuru enticements for an alliance.
Even though political expediency may guide his decisions, Rutoâ€™s ICC predicament and the TNA/PNU camp control of ministries responsible for evidence collection and preparation-gives the Uhuru camp an upper hand in any â€œhostageâ€ negotiations with Rutoâ€™s URP.
As such they have in their possession a horde and tranche of evidence ranging from phone conversations, real-time intelligence logs that could be handed to Bensouda, were Ruto not to tow the line.
TNA needs to know that politics being what it is, blackmail reigns- infact blackmail in politics is what oil isÂ to an engine- in this case threats of evidence being channeled to ICC could be one of many polite methods that the TNA agenda could be rammed down Rutoâ€™s throat.
That is why methinks that TNA has to go rogue in its dalliance with its potential junior partner, URP.
Afterall- negotiations are done on the terms of dominant partner, with the Dominant partner reading the riot act, when the situation demands. Ruto- given his circumstances is vulnerable enough to sign a lopsided agreement.
He has very limited options, if he wants to evade being confined to the dustbins of political History. He has flattered everyone that he is going to be their running mate. His potential suitors are maxed out.
Only TNA stands a chance of saving his soul. And TNA should capitalize on this despair as every potential suitor has moved on.
My advice is coming late because methinks the best time for TNA to have rolled out the first phase of this strategy was when Bensouda was coming to seek ICC evidence.
At that time TNA should have told Ruto to â€œeither accept a working formula with TNA or else Bensoudaâ€™s suitcase would be stuffed with evidence filesâ€.
Rutoâ€™s signal of shifting dalliance towards TNA came a few days before Bensouda arrived. Could TNA be following this script already? Only time will tell.
But what I know is that Ruto has no option but to play ball, because his position is precarious- doomed if he does, and damned if he doesnâ€™t.
Itâ€™s obvious that he canâ€™t resist TNA rapprochements. Not because of his own volition, but that is the predicament that his â€œinsincere friends have brought him forthâ€.
A Case Study of Kenyaâ€™s â€œPolitical Kidnapâ€ scenario
TNA can borrow heavily from Mudavadiâ€™s own confession, about how he submitted to KANUâ€™S whims in 2002.
Mudavadi, after declining Kanu nomination to Parliament, eventually made a sensational claim that â€œhad I not rejoined KANU, maybe I wouldnâ€™t be standing here with youâ€.
Mudavadiâ€™s sensational self disclosure came much later after his failed 2002 Vice Presidential bid, claiming that he abandoned the Rainbow movement due to fear of what he hinted were â€œundisclosed consequences had he not rejoined KANU in 2002â€.
As evidenced by the Mudavadi case, TNA should maximize on a well known psychological fact that victims of abuse hardly give real time disclosures of their predicaments in the hands of their abusive partners in a relationship for fear of consequences.
In politics, Mudavadiâ€™s 2002 scenario is testament to this psychological fact as his self disclosures came much later while he was â€œat a safe locationâ€- away from the reach of his â€œpolitical kidnappersâ€- when the lethal elements of the KANU regime had left government.
Mudavadi didnâ€™t disclose or report to the police his predicament in real-time, and even though KANU was out of power, the succinctness of Mudavadiâ€™s disclosures is testament that the fear of the â€œabusive kidnapperâ€ persisted long after the fact.
Application of the Case to URP
So it follows that TNA should not be afraid of potential Rutoâ€™s whistle-blowing because the Mudavadi case confirms that the earliest URP can cry foul of being shortchanged would be April 2013, when Uhuru would have been sworn in- and the MoU trashed through an amendment of the Political Parties Act- which apparently isnâ€™t cast in stone.
TNA could also â€œforceâ€ its â€œhostageâ€ URP to continue reassuring its political loved ones that theirs is a matter of two consenting parties- URP and TNA willingly co-habiting without any coercion, threats or arm-twisting from whichever party whatsoever while in fact- TNA would have URP hostage.
The writer is a blogger and freelance columnist