Why politcal bigwigs have intensified attacks on Ruto - Beaking Kenya News

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Saturday, 6 February 2021

Why politcal bigwigs have intensified attacks on Ruto


Deputy President William Ruto is under siege by the main political bigwigs. 

The growing popularity of Ruto's hustler narrative, his opposition to the BBI and his allies' attacks on President Uhuru Kenyatta have forced his critics to assemble fightback power.

The nature and severity of the fightback could complicate the DP's already bumpy ride to succeeding his boss. 

Opposition luminaries have trashed the DP's hustler narrative, terming it a recipe for a class war that could plunge the country into chaos.

The pentagon of President Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper chief), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC boss) and Kanu's Gideon Moi has escalated its political onslaught against the DP in the recent weeks.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula of Ford Kenya has also joined the fray in targeting Ruto—a lonely fighter in the race.

The attack on the First Family by Ruto's allies, sometimes in the DP's presence, is the last straw that broke the camel's back. 

Ford Kenya secretary general Eseli Simiyu at a press conference.
WHO'S BOSS? Ford Kenya secretary general Eseli Simiyu at a press conference.

On Friday Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu of Ford Kenya told the Star that the DP had “rattled the snake” and he should be prepared to be "bitten”. 

“The DP should blame himself for firing up a class war narrative that from a distance anyone can conclude is incitement against some families in this country,” he said.

The MP warned that the 2022 presidential race had morphed into a bitter political battle that might push the country to the edge if leaders sustain the current rhetoric.

“It is about 17 months to next year's general election and the temperatures are rising courtesy of a leader who has failed to tame his allies to exercise some sense of civility,” Simiyu said.

Uhuru, who fell out with Ruto after his rapprochement with Raila in 2018, has also been publicly attacking the country's second in command. 

The DP has launched his 2022 campaigns and looks isolated without the company of key political bigwigs, all of whom are coalescing around Uhuru.

On Thursday, the President fired a salvo at Ruto, saying leaders should emulate the respect then Vice President Daniel Moi had for his boss, President Jomo Kenyatta, instead of displaying “unbridled arrogance”.

“The late Mzee Moi diligently served my father for 17 years with a lot of humility and respect until he took over the leadership of this country in 1978. In his 24-year reign, he was still very humble and respectful,” the President said.

He spoke at Moi's Kabarak home during the first anniversary of his death.

“He [Moi] ruled for 24-years as president and left power with dignity in 2002. I urge leaders to be respectful and to stop your arrogance because, when your time comes, you will also need to be respected.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Daniel Moi's Kabarak home
President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Daniel Moi's Kabarak home

During the event, Mudavadi and Kalonzo accused Ruto of disrespecting the President and campaigning on a platform likely to set a class war in the country.

Only a month ago, during the funeral of Mudavadi's mother, Uhuru pushed back on the hustler-dynasty narrative. 

He said its proponents should know that he, too, could argue that time was ripe for other communities, not the Kikuyu and Kalenjin, to take over the presidency.

Politicians and analysts say Ruto should have reined in his allies from attacking the President. 

Kathiani MP Robert Mbui, a key Kalonzo ally, faulted the DP for going ballistic against the President, saying such a move has come to haunt him as the 2022 presidential campaigns hot up.

“Ruto has been reckless in his statements and has allowed his confidants to attack the President in his presence without rebuking them and, as you can see, that has backfired on him,” Mbui said.

The politician said the simultaneous attacks by major political players on Ruto will dent his public image and diminish his dream of succeeding the President.

ODM leader Raila Odinga.
ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Image: FILE

“He went out attacking former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka over the Yatta land and builds a dynasty versus hustler narrative targeting the President; these are some of the issues that have angered other leaders,” Mbui said.

There are concerns that the DP's wheelbarrow strategy was meant to undermine Uhuru's leadership and to project the government, in which he serves, as a failure, sparking the President's fury.

The DP has heightened his 2022 hustler campaigns while exposing the President's administration to public ridicule over campaign pledges he has claimed are in disarray following the handshake.

Ruto has blamed Raila's camaraderie with the President as having isolated him and triggered an implosion in the ruling Jubilee Party.  

On Friday, Makadara MP George Aladwa said the DP's style of confrontational politics has dealt him a big blow in his State House bid.

The attacks by Ruto's lieutenants on the President had infuriated other opposition leaders resulting in public unity in condemning his actions, he said. 

“The handshake was to bring peace and stability in the country. Ruto is the biggest threat to the country's future through his wheelbarrow politics that is radicalising the youth against other leaders,” Aladwa said.

Makadara MP George Aladwa.
Makadara MP George Aladwa.
Image: FILE

The Nairobi ODM chairman warned that the DP may not know peace in the coming months if he makes good his threat to start campaigns against the Building Bridges Initiative.

“As you can see, all the big boys are supporting the BBI process except Ruto; he has no numbers to successfully mount a 'NO' campaign to defeat the referendum,” he said.

The DP has termed the BBI process a scheme by a few political players to expand the Executive and share the spoils at the expense of the common man.

But Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said the DP's opponents were uniting against him because they fear he has the people on his side.

“Ruto's ideologies are resonating with the masses and that is why you see his opponents have panicked and want to make him look like the common enemy,” said Barasa, a key Ruto ally.

He warned that the 'dynasties' should prepare for a humiliating defeat in next year's general election.

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