In what appears to be another shocker for William Ruto, a secret realignment of top political leaders is in the offing with the ultimate aim of blocking him from succeeding Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
The driving force in this new scheme is Uhuru and Raila Odinga who are banking on the Building Bridges Initiative to give recommendations that will change the country’s mode of governance.
Weekly Citizen has information that three camps are emerging in the Uhuru succession power games; one beholden to Raila, another one coalescing around Ruto and the third revolving around non-aligned politicians.
The Raila axis has the support of Uhuru and is rooting for a referendum to create new positions, ostensibly, to unite Kenyans. In Kalenjin land, the pro-BBI axis has Kanu leader Gideon Moi and a number of faces in Isaac Ruto-led Chama Chama Mashinani.
Weekly Citizen has reliably been informed that the pro-referendum group has embarked on diluting the DP’s popularity in his Rift Valley bastion to checkmate him.
It is against this backdrop that Kalenjin tycoons have discreetly been deserting Ruto to CCM’s advantage. Other than the wantaway tycoons, rebel MPs led by Alfred Keter, Joshua Kuttuny, Silas Tiren and a number of governors from the region have no time for Ruto.
As things stand, faces in Rift Valley behind Ruto happen to be Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, MPs Caleb Kositany and Oscar Sudi. Energy CS Charles Keter is also firmly in the DP’s camp. Last week’s passing on of Bomet governor Joyce Laboso has dealt
Ruto’s camp a blow as she was seen to be Ruto’s crucial link in Kipsigis politics.
Governors Paul Chepkwony of Alex Tolgos, Elgeyo Marakwet and Uasin Gishu’s Jackson Mandago have all deserted the Ruto camp in fear of political ramifications. Though he has not come out in the open to cast his lot with either side of the divide, Mandago seems to be playing it safe, as is his Narok counterpart, Samuel Tunai.
Weekly Citizen has since established that Isaac Ruto accompanied billionaire David Langat for a visit to former president Daniel Moi. It was during the visit that the former president, a close associate of the Kenyatta family, anointed his son Gideon and Langat to be in forefront in defending and championing the Kalenjin community rights in the Uhuru succession game plan.
A source close to Gideon intimated Langat that Ruto and Gideon held lengthy talks with Moi, with the business tycoon momentarily seen kneeling before the ex-president. Those privy to Kalenjin politics aver that CCM is positioning itself as the neutral, even as Gideon and the DP fight over control of Rift Valley supremacy.
It is contended that Gideon cannot marshal support in the Kalenjin nation, a presumption that has prompted CCM to assume a strategic political stature ahead of the jigsaw puzzle that is the Rift Valley politics on the one hand and the Uhuru succession on the other. Talk is rife that Langat is being propelled to fly the CCM flag as presidential candidate.
It is on this basis that during the visit, Langat is said to have donated cows to Moi in a show of respect to the retired president. Alert to the increasingly scattered Kalenjin vote to the detriment of his presidential ambition, observers say, Gideon has chosen the realistic path of engaging CCM to tame the embattled DP.
Kalenjin tycoons said to have fallen out with Ruto and now leaning towards CCM are former Kuresoi MP Zachayo Cheruiyot, Zedekiah Buzeki, Silas Simwoto, Joshua Kulei, Joshua Chepkwony, Sally Kosgey and Henry Kosgei to mention just but a few.
Sources say the anti-Ruto Kalenjin forces are in talks with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, governors Hassan Joho, Anne Waiguru, cabinet secretaries Eugene Wamalwa and Peter Munya, Martha Karua and Maina Kamanda to plot the Uhuru succession.
Surprisingly, Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is being sidelined in the new arrangement in favour of Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana in the plan to consolidate the Kamba vote.
It is feared Kalonzo may decide not to let go of his candidacy in favour of another face. The new realignment, which is being funded by State House through Internal Security PS Karanja Kibicho, targets to isolate Ruto even in his Kalenjin backyard by wooing popular governors as well as grooming youthful leaders to take the DP’s allies headon come 2022.
Two weeks ago, the DP was left with an egg on his face when Uhuru publicly declared he does not care about his 2022 successor. The surprise statement came just a day after a key Ruto ally claimed the bond between Uhuru and Ruto had been shattered and that their public camaraderie was fictitious.
“When Ruto keeps on saying that all is well, no one can believe that anymore,” Sudi declared.
Speaking while presiding over the opening of Bidco Industrial Park in Ruiru, Uhuru said he was not interested in who will succeed him.
“The person who will be elected would be elected. It’s God who knows. Me I don’t mind,” Uhuru declared at the function attended by Ruto and Raila.
But in a bid to diffuse growing tension that had hit a crescendo after the graft purge that targeted his allies, Ruto, in a surprise twist, said he is proud to be Uhuru’s deputy.
“I’m a very proud deputy of Uhuru Kenyatta,” he said during the interment of Kenneth’s mother.
Buzeki shocked Ruto when he announced that he wants to chart his own political path and does not want anything to do with Team Tanga Tanga, which is associated with the DP. The moneyed businessman, who was expected to partly bankroll Ruto’s bid in 2022, lost the Uasin Gishu county gubernatorial seat to Jackson Mandago in a hotly-contested election in 2017. He worked closely with the DP in the last polls and was considered to be his preferred candidate for the Uasin Gishu seat.
And as if to further spite the DP, Buzeki had ahead of making his announcement to ditch Jubilee, held a private meeting at a Nairobi hotel with a group of leaders from the Rift Valley considered fervent opponents of Ruto.
Most of the leaders present at the meeting are being groomed by Uhuru’s allies to take on Ruto’s cronies in 2022. The meeting discussed at length how to revamp CCM as an alternative to Ruto’s outfit.