If President Uhuru Kenyatta didn’t know it already, he surely must by now know that his decisions are being countermanded by none other than his sulking deputy.
If he needed evidence that his declared war on corruption is being sabotaged, he need look no further than the inner sanctum of his deputy’s Karen and Surgoi palaces.
Ruto’s acolyte MPs speak of the President with derision and utter contempt, and are neither upbraided nor admonished by their master.
The MPs have opposed everything from investigations, to arrests and charging of suspects they have adopted as ‘their own’. They have furiously disowned the vetting of public officers and condemned lifestyle audit of public officers. They are creating a non-existent humanitarian crisis over the Mau eviction to slight the President on the restoration of the ecosystem.
Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen said his party leader is part of wakora [thugs]. Of late, at the slightest opportunity, the MPs ethnicise and politicise every presidential act.
If they are not blaming the President for targeting their kinsmen for sleaze, they are resentfully recalibrating the war on corruption as aimed at checkmating Ruto’s presidential ambition. Basically, that it is meant to smear his name while at the same time deny him sources of campaign finances.
But if it confounds many that Ruto has let loose and can’t restrain his political attack dogs, it bewilders many more that he allows them to illogically suggest he’s corrupt.
He’s wondered why attention is on him and then denied he is corrupt. But what does it mean to allege the war targets him as if we know what he’s done? Why would Rutomen be protective of theft suspects? Or are the MPs merely using the DP as a pawn to cover for themselves and their corrupt cohorts?
The jury is still out on the endgame of the declared war on sleaze, but it’s obvious the Rutomen’s scheme is two pronged: create distrust in Uhuru’s commitment to fight graft and create a siege mentality among the Kalenjin support base.
Uhuru is supposed to be cowed into relaxing the squeeze out of fear of losing political support in implementing the Big Four agenda. Already, innuendo is being drawn to the effect that public service is distracted by the stress of the purge.
But all these are decoys. It’s a test balloon. For the President, it’s time to keep the pressure on the pedal. But Uhuru isn’t helping his case by not withdrawing the nomination of former Kenya Power MD Ben Chumo for SRC chairman, after he was charged with corruption.
Any relaxation in the purge will embolden the Ruto faction to go for the kill — and that’s to make Uhuru a lame duck with the possibility of abdicating the throne.
Ruto wants to force abdication because the TNA-URP MoU has been shredded. You see, Ruto wants to be the incumbent going into the 2022 elections, hence, the open warfare in Jubilee Party.
While Murkomen publicly dares Uhuru with snide remarks, his Kericho counterpart Aaron Cheruiyot goes for the jugular of the Uhuru faction apparatchik Raphael Tuju, whom he labels Jubilee’s Johnny-come-lately who should resign. The attacks are coordinated to the extent that the name-calling attracts maximum attention unanswered.
Uhuru has frozen implementation of new projects to restrain the DP’s movement and prevent him from using them as bait for his 2022 campaign. Yet the freeze is only a clever ruse for a government that’s broke. Still, the fact is the DP has deliberately drawn attention to himself. In his kutangatanga development tours, he has claimed credit for government projects. He’s become obsessed with announcing the millions to be spent.
But Uhuru cannot let go this war. It’s for the good of the country that he stays the course. To stop is to give in and coddle corruption. He’d have betrayed millions of ordinary Kenyans who are cheering him on.
The poor can persevere and forgive the President for the punitive taxes as long as he slays the corruption dragon. They will not forgive him for letting graft win, Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions notwithstanding.
BY KIBISU KABATESI—CREDITS, THE STAR