Fri. Apr 19th, 2019

Deputy President William Ruto stumbles in Uhuru’s succession race

Gideon Moi and William Ruto

Deputy President William Ruto this week appeared to be losing political ground in his Rift Valley home turf after KANU decided to back the re-election of Uhuru Kenyatta.
This has triggered fears he could be stumbling in the Jubilee succession race after President Uhuru Kenyatta side stepped him and directly engaged the KANU leadership.
This is a clear indication that Ruto is no longer considered as influential as he was five years ago and there are some people within Jubilee who will spend sleepless nights trying to clip his wings.
The Jubilee wing of President Kenyatta will always support multiple groups that spring up in Ruto’s backyard.
This will weaken Ruto significantly creating an impression of unpopular Deputy President who cannot successfully contest in 2022.
Jubilee may disintegrate after the next elections from crippling internal power struggles — since the succession issue will take center stage and there will be everything to play for.
By choosing to work with KANU against the wishes of his Deputy, President Uhuru is sending a clear message that he has got options.
 But looking beyond this year’s elections; Uhuru wants to make sure that KANU remains a constant thorn along Ruto’s journey to the presidency. And this is where the whole plan to scuttle Ruto’s ambitions will be effectively executed.
The ICC narrative that created an instant bromance between Uhuru and Ruto is now water under the bridge.
Uhuru has realised that his deputy is no longer guarantee him the same votes like in 2013.In fact, at one point, KANU was gravitating towards NASA, a move that would have exposed Uhuru to a possible defeat.
By now Deputy President should know that it’s not going to be a walk in the park. Numbers of influential politicians have already declared their interest in the 2022 race.
 Ruto should be worried that despite the assurances given by the president that he will succeed him, politicians from the President’s back yard are already grooming their own.
 There is also Meru Governor Peter Munya who has declared his candidature and there is obvious Gideon Moi whom Ruto has been castigating amid growing animosity between him and the supporters of the Independence party.
As it stands the main beneficiaries of Deputy Presidents diminishing influence will be Kanu and Isaac Rutto’s Mashinani Party.
Hopefully, though William Ruto should read the early signs and know that if he has to be the fifth president of Kenya he must change tact and look beyond President Uhuru’s backyard and his own Rift valley; if and when that happens time will tell.