By William Makora
In Kenya today, the Deputy President, H.E William Samoei Kipchirichir Ruto is a man held between a rock and a hard place. He is not only struggling to put a face but also to come to terms with reality that his shadow is casting a thick darkness in front of his face and his path is getting as bleakly as the day advances.
He is tested and found wanting in many fronts than one and his bedrock consolation may not make up to any hope by the close of the day. That is a harsh way to begin an article though.
If the article unfairly begins on a bruising note I proffer my earnest apologies to the subject matter as well as my esteemed readers. It is inspired by a desire to put matters in their context other than rubbing them with a bottle neck. Compare the person in Ruto with the one before and immediately after last elections and find an east and a west.
It is like the sun at sunrise and sunset; it shines but differently. Our people say the latter closes its eye involuntarily. The situation that follows requires that dependants improvise lighting; for without an alternative the land remains in an utter darkness.
Before joining the Jubilee coalition in 2012 through URP, Ruto had leaped from Kanu, ODM and UDM in a span of less than six years. No one would really tell the fuel behind wheels of the former Kanu Secretary General except himself.
When he rejoined his former party chairman, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta (TNA) for presidential elections in the coalition, it was clear the soles under his heels sprang from some sort of incentives or feelings of fear for an imminent fate after a commission of inquiry into the chaos christened Waki Commission listed the two (among others) as persons with most responsibility in post election violence that erupted after 2007 claiming lives of many Kenyans; maiming and displacing many others.
Head of UNâ€™s Committee of Eminent Persons involved in finding solutions to the conflict, H.E Kofi Annan, handed over their names to the ICC which prosecuted them alongside Francis Muthaura and Joshua arap Sang. Ruto and Sang were accused with planning the atrocities while Uhuru and Muthaura were accused of retaliating attacks. Cases against the latter pair have since been withdrawn for lack of evidence. This leaves Ruto and Sang in the thicket of thistles. The two are tribesmen.
Though the post election violence was initially seen as an agitated reaction to presidential election results, huge explosion of the fire among the Kalenjins against unsuspecting Kikuyus in Rift Valley caused outright suspicions of prior plots and accusation of Ruto who was the main opposition figure from the community of the region was fair, especially, after he was adversely mentioned in the report of the commission. Beleaguered Kikuyus reassembled to repulse the heinous attacks and that is how Uhuru (being an influential Kikuyu) was involved in the case. However, electoral contest was between Emilio Mwai Kibaki (Kikuyu) and Raila Amolo Odinga (Luo).
When Ruto endeared Kikuyus through Kibaki and Uhuru soon after calm returned by formation of Government of National Unity, Kenyans believed he was resenting Railaâ€™s option to work with opponents. His continued reference of his former leader as a â€˜man of half-a-loafâ€™, a veiled phrase for power sharing agreement, revealed that Ruto was disappointed with the ODM leader. His bitter calls for release of the youth arrested in connection with crimes of the animosities and condemnation of Raila to the contrary confirmed ire in his spirit. He was fighting a battle of bitterness.
Then Ruto teamed up with Uhuru in a coalition to grab power in the last