Outplayed, DP Ruto ponders viable way out of Jubilee trap - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 15 May 2020

Outplayed, DP Ruto ponders viable way out of Jubilee trap

Deputy President William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto is exploring all available options to clear his path to State House amid a sustained onslaught by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking to clip his political wings.
President Kenyatta has been critical of his deputy over allegations that he is engaging in premature campaigns at the expense of delivering on the Jubilee administration’s mandate.
Having been relegated to the sidelines in the running of the government and his lieutenants lately becoming the targets of embarrassing takedowns, the DP now has to make some painful choices.
Multiple interviews with political analysts and leaders have suggested that the DP can choose to stay put in government despite attacks targeting him and his lieutenants and “continue earning sympathy from Kenyans”.
Some of his allies hinted to the Nation that they were considering the strategy Mr Kenyatta and Dr Ruto employed in 2013 “when they were faced with The Hague cases, which earned them a lot of sympathy from Kenyans”.
“In 2013, the two leaders were facing the ICC, which they used effectively to endear themselves to Kenyans through public sympathy. Our first plan is to stay put in government amid attacks and continue earning sympathy from Kenyans,” said one of Dr Ruto’s allies who sought anonymity.
Jubilee Deputy Secretary-General Caleb Kositany, Dr Ruto’s de facto spokesman, corroborated the sentiments, maintaining that they are not going anywhere.
“Our first choice is Jubilee, the second Jubilee and the third Jubilee. So whoever thinks they can push us out through intimidation and illegalities are in for a rude shock,” he said.
The deputy president’s other option, according to political observers, is to launch a fight from within government and create his own space “with available state machinery at his disposal”.
Just like ODM leader Raila Odinga did to retired President Mwai Kibaki during the grand coalition government between 2008 and 2013, Dr Ruto could launch a similar fight since the president has openly shown lack of confidence in him.
Mr Odinga was on record protesting against disrespect by President Kibaki’s men and, on one occasion, he openly complained of a demeaning reception in Mombasa, with half a carpet and no VIP toilet.
Political analyst and governance strategist Javas Bigambo says constant attacks targeting Dr Ruto and his allies could also possibly make him lose his cool and launch an attack against the government to create his space.
“It is obvious that soon Ruto will lose his cool and face off with the president. He is coming to terms with real betrayal, the kind that Raila (Odinga) is now well accustomed to, but Ruto is new in Jerusalem with regard to betrayal madness,” said Mr Bigambo.
The DP’s other option, according to insiders in his camp, is to leave Jubilee, which President Kenyatta “is hell-bent on wresting from him” and use a different party in 2022.
However, that could be a rocky path for him as he could lose his position because he will be deemed to have left the party that thrust him to power.
Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju had warned some of the DP’s allies who were mulling halting payment on their Sh10,000 monthly membership fees that they would be deemed to have resigned and be deregistered and forced to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate.
“What we do for such a group is simply to write to the Registrar of Political Parties with adequate reasons for their removal from our membership roll and they will lose their seats,” Mr Tuju intimated to the Nation
Political analyst Herman Manyora says the DP’s other option is to accept defeat and surrender.
“If he surrenders, he could choose to toe the line or quit government and take a break from politics. He could also choose to resign and assemble an army to fight Uhuru’s team in 2022,” said Mr Manyora.
Resigning as DP, as has on several occasions been demanded by President Kenyatta’s allies, would enable Dr Ruto to officially join his new political vehicle earlier and market it as the clock ticks towards 2022.
However, Dr Ruto will lack the State machinery that is now at his disposal to put up a fight and most of his lieutenants will be reluctant to move with him.
Some party insiders also say the self-declared ‘hustler’ can as well quit politics all together and return to the president’s fold and accept any offer for 2022.
This move, they say, could save the DP the trouble of fighting a debilitating war of attrition with the so called “deep state”.
But the DP’s allies are not ruling out working with other partners, including ODM leader Raila Odinga. “If push comes to shove, we cannot rule out working with (Mr Odinga) in 2022,” a DP’s ally stated.
On Thursday, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, an ally of the DP, said “in politics there are not permanent friends and no permanent enemies”.
“Uhuru seems to be on his way back to Kanu, and if this will leave Raila with no role to play, his people will put more pressure on him with demands and Raila would not hesitate to bolt out from his union with Uhuru should those demands not be met,” Mr Barasa said, adding that “the chances of Raila working with Ruto are higher than Ruto working with Uhuru again”.

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