Key allies of Uhuru Kenyatta and those of his deputy William Ruto are working behind the scenes to reunite the two leaders in what is likely to spell doom to the March 9 2018 handshake between the head of state and opposition leader Raila Odinga if the efforts bear fruit.
The allies plan to rope in respected clerics and elders from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities in the plan to ensure that Uhuru and Ruto aka Number Two are chummy once again.
Highly placed sources confided in us that the allies are planning to reach out to speakers Justin Muturi of national assembly and Ken Lusaka of senate to play the role of a go-between of the two leaders.
Muturi is a close confidante of the head of state, who was instrumental in his appointment for the second term and are drinking buddies ever since their days in Kanu. It is said Ruto also has a lot of respect for Muturi.
On the other hand, Lusaka is a close ally of the deputy president. It is Ruto who brokered Lusaka’s naming as senate speaker. Both speakers have successfully rallied the legislators to the government’s cause.
Insiders familiar with the scheme say the allies have made major milestones in brokering a pact between Uhuru, Ruto with the first achievement being stopping Kalenjin hardliners namely Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, MP Oscar Sudi from openly attacking Uhuru in a move that was seen to have the blessings of Ruto. Many will agree that Ruto’s attack dogs from Mount Kenya region and even Western have of late gone silent. The move is part of a truce building between the president and his deputy. Those involved want first to have the presidency respected so as to avoid having two centres of power in Jubilee government something that is being exploited by Raila.
Another issue that has been identified as being the cause of the bad blood between the DP faction and a section of cabinet secretaries allied to Uhuru in the cabinet is their fate in post-Uhuru era if Ruto wins. Fear has been that they will be dropped immediately from plum slots which will be taken over by DP men.
It is on this fear that the CSs mostly from Mount Kenya are out to influence Uhuru succession to their own future benefits since they are still young and have not yet put aside enough for the rainy day.
There have been fierce divisions in the cabinet over the hot 2022 succession race. At one time, four cabinet secretaries from the Mount Kenya region went to DCI over an alleged plot to assassinate
Sicily Kariuki of Health, Joe Mucheru, ICT and Peter Munya, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives had received text messages from an officer, Michael Sang, who is based at the DCI headquarters, asking them to present themselves to investigators over meetings they had been holding allegedly to plot how to assassinate the DP.
The ministers were accompanied by principal secretaries Andrew Kamau o Petroleum, Joseph Njoroge of Energy and the secretary of the president’s delivery unit Andrew Wakahiu.
The cabinet secretaries confirmed that they had been meeting at the hotel but said the agenda was the development concerns raised by politicians from the region hence La Mada hotel talks. The said CSs are worried what will happen if Ruto wins 2022 as they believe they are now marked.
As it is being suggested that the DP tames his hardliners, the same is being pushed on tough defenders of Uhuru in Mt Kenya among them MPs Ngunjiri Wambugu of Nyeri Town, Wangari Mwaniki, Kigumo, Maoka Maore, Igembe North, Nduati Ngugi, Gatanga, Gathoni Wamuchomba, Kiambu and Paul Koinange, Kiambaa and their leader, nominated MP Maina Kamanda.
To avoid the growing bad blood between Kieleweke and Tangatanga groups in Jubilee, schemers behind the unity talks have secretly been approaching MPs to skip functions organised to have the factions die a natural death as the meetings were becoming violent. Of late, many will agree that the once every weekend public functions are no more.
After the death of Kieleweke and Tangatanga, eyes will be set on Jubilee women MPs in Embrace Kenya and Inua Mama Initiative. The plan is to have Embrace Kenya left to opposition women MPs.
One of the major concerns is how Ruto, if he becomes the president will treat Uhuru’s loyalists, particularly youthful high ranking civil servants.
Those pushing for reconciliation want the DP to be assure them he will accommodate Uhuru’s loyalists in the public service as well as protect the interests of the Kenyatta family if he is president.
As they push for Ruto to accommodate Uhuru loyalists, they also have a proposal to have Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and his Public Prosecutions counterpart Noordin Haji to go slow on corruption purge, particularly on CSs close to the deputy president.
The crackdown intensified in April last year following Haji’s appointment but slightly over a year later; however, the push seems to have lost momentum amid claims of political intimidation.
According to insiders, the push to reunite the two leaders started early this year and explains why the DP’s allies, who had previously trashed the anti-graft war as a charade, were seen celebrating when Uhuru delivered his speech in parliament on April 4.
Insiders say the president’s tone surprisingly changed during his state of the nation address to parliament this year when he stated that he will only sack a cabinet secretary on condition that the CS has been charged in court. This is after his allies were told by those of Ruto that the graft purge was heightening tension in volatile Rift Valley and the best recourse was to go slow on the matter.
Insiders add that part of the truce the two leaders have reached is for the head of state to slow down his engagements with Raila.
Of late the president has limited his engagements with Raila, and even diehard ODM supporters are now convinced that their man is on his own.
It is because of the truce that the president failed to lead five other East African presidents in launching the operationalisation of the Kisumu port, which has been under renovation for the past eight months at a cost of Sh3 billion.
There were claims the event was postponed over claims there were plans to disrupt it due to the ongoing demolitions of nearly 3,000 small and medium businesses but the fact of the matter is that Ruto succeeded in dissuading his boss to attend the function.
The event was cancelled even as details from a committee meeting showed that plans for the launch had been completed.
The venue of the event had been identified and arrangements made for heightened security.
As part of the truce, Uhuru also postponed his planned trip of Mount Kenya region in the company of the ODM leader.
The two leaders were expected to address joint rallies in Central Kenya to explain to the masses what the handshake means and more so indirectly, endorse Raila for the presidency in 2022.
But a growing rebellion toward Uhuru and Raila’s handshake in Mt Kenya forced the two to cancel a tour of the region and now the tour may not take place after Ruto dissuaded his boss against marketing the ODM leader.
According to sources, Uhuru was planning to take Raila in a tour of Mt Kenya region but the plans were changed after intelligence showed the two would receive a hostile reception.
As part of the deal, Uhuru also endorsed footballer McDonald Mariga’s candidature in the Kibra by-election in a surprise move that complicates the contest.