KENYA (GA) – In Kenya today, politics is not everything. Still, everything is about politics as the country moves closer to the end of the Jubilee Party Coalition of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy President William Ruto’s final term in office right after the August 2022 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Incumbent President Kenyatta has dished his deputy President Ruto to support his onetime main rival, and leading opposition leader turned confidante and ally Raila Odinga. According to some reliable sources and people close to the President, he firmly believes his former ally and current Vice President does not pass the moral litmus test to lead Kenya, a diverse and competitive nation.
Supporters of the President also believe the vice president is unfit and has a lot of socially unacceptable baggage ranging from widespread allegations of graft and corruption to ill-mannered temperament unconducive for the highest office in the land and national leadership in general.
The vice president’s supporters disagreed and accused the President of falling prey to political entitlement, hegemony, and the old boys’ children club by supporting his late father Jomo Kenyatta’s former vice president, Odinga Odinga’s son, Raila Odinga to protect him, the incumbent President when he leaves office.
According to The Africa Report entitled: “Fallout with Kenyatta: Door closed on succession for Ruto”, both the President and his deputy started what is referred to as “Pulling from different ends” right after their reelection in 2017. Their division and open clashes intensified in March 2018, with accusations and counter-accusations from both sides.
- President Kenyatta has accused the deputy president of staging early campaigns to succeed him, instead of focusing on what the president described as their “legacy projects.”
- Deputy President Ruto, on the other hand, accuses the president and termed his moves to limit his likely successor as a betrayal of their pre-2013 pact that was made while both of them were facing criminal charges at the International Criminal Court.
Several political analysts in the West seem to agree with President Kenyatta’s decision and his assessment of his deputy and firmly believe that the deputy president is a polarizing figure and an overly ambitious individual who is generally perceived as a “corrupt” politician across various communities in Kenya and international circles.
Accordingly, the deputy president’s tenure in various politically appointed positions, including as Minister of agriculture, was marred by accusations of public theft and corruption, mismanagement, and undemocratic tendencies. These allegations are all refuted by Deputy President Ruto’s supporters and allies. Instead, they are accusing the President of leading a smear and disinformation campaign for his benefit and protection after his presidency.
As the political struggle continues and heats up close to the upcoming August election, President Kenyatta is forging ahead with his new alliances around Deputy President Ruto’s political opponents by bringing together Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and late President Moi’s KANU camp.
The President’s alliances also include key associated supporters of Odinga’s 2017 National Super Alliance (NASA), such as CCM’s Isaac Ruto, Wiper Democratic Movement’s Kalonzo Musyoka, and Amani National Coalition’s Musalia Mudavadi. But Deputy President William Ruto is not sitting idle; he is fighting back by mobilizing a cross-section of supporters opposed to President Kenyatta’s political mantra of ‘different times produce different ties’ in the face of Kenya’s succession politics.