THE FALL OF THE “HUSTLER ”
By Robert Kiberenge Jnr
The proverbial swahili saying “siku ya nyani kufa miti yote huteleza” is very much at play in Kenya politics, if events of the recent past are anything to go by. William Ruto, the self proclaimed “hustler” is under siege, watching helplessly and hopelessly as his Presidential ambitions evaporates into thin air. That does not mean he cannot contest the Presidency. No. He can go ahead and contest, just like Abduba Dida and Aukur Aukot will contest, in the spirit of “democratic right”.
In our contemporary political history, King makers have never become Kings and it’s crystal clear that history is here to repeat itself. Jaramogi Oginga Odinga made Jomo Kenyatta a King, Charles Mugane Njonjo rebelled against his fellow Mt Kenya Mafia to scuttle the Change the Constitution Movement and solely made Moi a King, Raila Odinga made Emilio Mwai Kibaki a King in 2003. In all this instances, the Kings applied the principle of “finish the King maker once you become a King, one of the clauses in the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green. Things do not look very different now.
Uhuru’s first term as President was characterised by monumental challenges due to illegitimacy and constant aggressive onslaughts fronted by Raila Odinga. After being sworn for the second term on 28th November 2017, Uhuru was faced with the dilemma of whether he should continue to protect the 2022 interests of William Ruto or whether he should embark on working on his legacy. It’s difficult to achieve the two together,simultaneously. He chose the later and decided to shake hands with Raila.
The handshake was not the normal handshake for Uhuru. It was very significant in every sense for several reasons:
1. The handshake handed Uhuru the legitimacy to govern.
2. With the handshake, Raila granted him the requisite political stability space to implement the Big 4 Agenda.
3. Raila is on record assisting Kibaki to build his legacy in his second term from 2008 to 2012.
Uhuru needs Raila’s input in building his legacy, lest he goes down in history as the worst President Kenya has ever had. Besides legitimacy, political stability and legacy, Raila’s comes in very handy for a very monumental mission to be accomplished in 2022. The interests of the oligarchs are threatened by the ambitions of a fellow propagating the “son of a peasant” ideology. For Raila, it’s a golden opportunity to revenge against Ruto for helping the oligarchs to stop him from becoming President in 2013 and 2017 in line with the swahili saying “malipo ni hapa hapa duniani”.
The only politician in Kenya’s history to have pushed the combined oligarchs to the limit is Raila. He has thrice brought Kenya on the brink while challenging the oligarchs on the Presidency. He is aggressive, fearless, unstoppable and very strategic. He has been dangerous to the oligarchs.Now give Raila a candidate in 2022 and state resources to stop Ruto and you can imagine how the battle will be like.
Raila is a dynasty yes, but a dynasty that has for several years been rebelious to the other dynasties. The oligarchs do not like people who speak the language of reform, people who lament about the price of unga et al, and Raila happened to be that person. That is why he was an enemy of the system.
But with the handshake, Raila seems to have been rehabilitated into the system and is willing to play along – at least in the big assignment of the 2022 transition. And by the way, if Raila has given in and agreed that we shall surely never get a President through the ballot, who else can do what he has done in three consecutive elections? A rhetorical question for debate another day.
The combination of the oligarchs is one lethal force to reckon with.They appear top on the list of most richest people in Kenya,. Their combined experience in politics is up to 400 years or so. They control the state machinery, they can manipulate the Nairobi Stoke Exchange prices at will, they have their fingers, ears and eyes in every sector. In short they own Kenya and they control life.
Sun Tzu in his book “The Art of War” says ; ” There are roads which must not be followed, armies which must not be attacked, towns which must not be besieged, positions which must not be contested, commands of the sovereign which must not be obeyed”. Anybody, including me, can contest the Presidency, but not anybody can become President. Queuing to vote is a formality, but the President is selected through boardroom rituals by the system. At least we can now agree so, after several years of struggling and fighting to make the vote count, in vain.
William Ruto Is on a mission impossible. The sword that he sharpened will be used against him. In 2013, Raila told Ruto, “after they are done with me, they will turn to you”. They are done with Raila, Ruto is next. We are headed into a repeat of 2002. If Raila will not contest, he and the oligarchs will agree on a compromise candidate, but not Ruto.In that arrangement of the oligarchs agreeing on a compromise candidate Uhuru will play not betraying Ruto. He will stand with him to the end, escort him to defeat and eventually stand behind him as he concedes defeat, while Raila delivers a President agreed by the system. Uhuru will tell Ruto; ” you see I have supported you, we have tried but lost. We don’t want bloodshed again. Let us concede defeat”.
And that is how Ruto will replace Raila in the opposition.