By Gilbert O Kenya
By end of 2021, Jubilee Party will be an unrecognizable Shell of its former self. You can take this to the bank – and if you wish – get a loan on it.
The juggernaut that swallowed over 10 small parties and was supposedly going to rule Kenya for at least 20 years was simply a mirage.
Jubilee Party is on an irreversible self destruct mode, which will completely consume it before the next general elections.
It will take efforts of astronomical proportions to restore the party to its former glory, let alone an outfit that can comfortably win the 2022 presidency. The best it can become, post 2022, is a major opposition party.
Just like retired president Mwai Kibaki no longer needed PNU in his second term and hence watched it die a natural death;
President Uhuru no longer needs Jubilee since he won’t be running for the presidency.
This explains why he seems noncommittal about the major split in the ruling party and hence its looming demise. The party is exactly where he wants it to be.
The unfortunate reality of Kenyan politics is; the presidential flag bearers not only own the parties, on whose tickets they run for office, but they also double up as the oxygen of these parties.
Without the party owners, the parties fizzle out. Think of ODM without Raila. Or just even think of the amorphous outfit called NASA without Raila! The same can be said of the defunct URP without Ruto or TNA without Uhuru
William Ruto might have done the donkey work in cobbling up Jubilee from scratch, but the towering figure identified with the party is the man at the top. Fact. Without Uhuru’s support, Jubilee is totally incapacitated.
Uhuru is obviously not keen on having Ruto as his successor. If he was, the handshake wouldn’t have happened and lasted this long. By now, there is no doubt that the handshake is clearly part of Uhuru’s strategy in building his legacy.
I am sure William Ruto knows this and he has even seriously contemplated leaving the ruling party and building his own party for 2022 purposes.
However, that would also mean leaving government and the attendant largesse that come with his office in Harambee Avenue.
Hence, bolting out of government too early might put him in a very precarious position, making him easy prey to his opponents, for the next three years.
Nonetheless, so long as his 2022 presidential ambitions remain at loggerheads with Uhuru’s focus on building some semblance of a legacy, he’ll eventually get pushed out of government and might not have enough time to regroup before 2022.
This puts the hustler in a catch 22 situation. He is damned if he leaves government early enough and he is damned if he doesn’t.
That is how difficult it is being William Ruto at the moment.