Uhuru must come clean on 2013 deal with Ruto

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NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU

William Ruto calls himself a ‘hustler’, and he is. He is a self-made political leader who has effectively created the perception that he is the defender of all interests ‘Kalenjin’ by ‘owning’ the grievances committed against the Kalenjin community over the years.

He has then crafted himself into the custodian of the solutions to these grievances. The result is that he has become a tremendously powerful politician with a firm hold over a large section of the Kalenjin vote. He has leveraged this role quite efficiently to the extent that he is recognised as a national leader. He has also become the undisputed leading ‘king-maker’ for the forth-coming general election.

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta on the other hand is anything, but a hustler. Unlike Ruto who is able to credibly refer to himself as a ‘hustler’ to identify with the average Kenyan struggling with economic aspirations, Hon Kenyatta represents what is most probably the largest land-owning family in Kenya. This makes him the direct opposite of a ‘hustler’.

While Ruto is a self-made politician, Uhuru would not be what he is if he was not a Kenyatta. His late father’s resources and networks have been instrumental in getting him to the pinnacle of his political career (which is not wrong in itself except for the fact that he then – dishonestly in my opinion – wants Kenyans to judge him as ‘his own man’. Finally unlike Ruto, he cannot claim to be the ‘owner’ of the Kikuyu community’s grievance, again because he has been the beneficiary of most of them.

However, Uhuru learns well from others and having watched how quickly the ‘tribal chieftain’ tag can catapult someone to national power, he has ‘copy pasted’ what he has seen Hon William Ruto do and say. He stated as much in Muranga when he explained that time had come for Kikuyus to learn from what Ruto has done with the Kalenjins, and accept to ‘toe the line’ under one community leader. He has moved extremely first to achieve this end.

Uhuru Kenyatta first established The National Alliance Party (TNA). This party then declared that any Kikuyu who wants to be in political office next year must leave any other party and join TNA under Uhuru.

With his resources, he has managed to do what it took Ruto over seven years in Rift Valley, in less than one year in Central. He even went to the extent of disinheriting President Mwai Kibaki while the president was in office, unlike Ruto who waited until Moi had retired.

Today the president finds himself without a party as he folds up his 10 years in State House. PNU has been dissolved into TNA and all the non-Kikuyu PNU leadership have had to find their political homes in other parties.

Now, Uhuru Kenyatta has an ‘offer’ for William Ruto. He wants to cut a ‘deal’ with the self-made politician so that Ruto’s ‘DNA becomes TNA’, and Ruto shelves his political ambitions so that Uhuru can become a strong presidential challenger to Hon Raila Odinga, and maybe even stop him from being President.

However for this ‘deal’ to work Uhuru must offer Ruto something that Ruto can take back to the Kalenjin community to convince them that Uhuru has the community’s best interests at heart.

This is where the rubber meets the road.

If you were to stop a Kalenjin primary school child in the street and ask her what the interests of the Kalenjin community are they would immediately tell you it is all about ‘Land’. This same child would also tell you that the Kalenjin land problem has Kikuyu finger-prints all over it, starting from Jomo Kenyatta’s era. She would then tell you, for free, that the only way William Ruto can convince the Kalenjin to vote for Uhuru Kenyatta is if Uhuru has an answer to the ‘Kikuyu Question’ in Rift Valley. These, unfortunately, are the facts.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s political stronghold in Mt. Kenya has land issues, but they are intra-ethnic, not with other communities. However in Ruto’s Rift-Valley strong-hold the land problem is between Kalenjins and close to one million Kikuyus who live there.

This basically means that the people falling over themselves in the Mt Kenya region to pledge allegiance to Uhuru will not be affected by whatever offer Uhuru gives Ruto. It is the 40 percent Kikuyus living outside the Mt Kenya, especially those in the Rift Valley, who are vulnerable to any such deal, especially if it touches on land.

They are also the ones who would ‘pay’ should Uhuru then default on whatever they agree, if he gets into statehouse.

My suggestions;
For the sake of peace and long-term inter-ethnic cohesion, especially in the Rift Valley, could Uhuru Kenyatta make public whatever ‘offer’ he has given William Ruto in return for Kalenjin support? Could the Kikuyu leadership from Rift Valley also ensure they are involved in whatever talks are going on between Ruto and Uhuru to ensure that no one ends up ‘negotiating away’ their land-rights? Finally, could this openness apply to all ‘deals’ cut between all presidential candidates?

(Wambugu is the Founder and Director of the Change Associates Trust).

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  • This is hate speech. Are you claiming that Kalenjins in general are waiting to start killing Kikuyus anytime soon?

  • tell the truth

    Capital…you are letting kenyans down by publishing such blogs.

  • Kenyans are getting sick and tired of being weighed with conmen’s scale. Instances are plenty that suggest we are being deliberately misdirected by blind selfish interests. There must be some kind of logic in raising issues. But you dont go for whats not even necessary! You cant cook up things and then tell us: this is the way its, whats your answer! Many articles have chokingly followed this trend for far too long. Illogic is actually becoming the normal. Characters with selfish loyalties are shooting up to unreasonably demand to scrutinize how others are operating. However, they never allow the same to happen to their preferred candidates, who seemingly live in glass houses. Needless to say, they are moral vacuums without any authority to demand anything from anyone.

    Only last week, a columnist in one of the major newspapers asked brother VP Kalonzo Musyoka to stand up and be counted. The reason for that was even more amuzing than the insulting demand. Apparently, the guy didnt know what transpired in a meeting between VP, Hon. Ruto and Uhuru a few days ago. He even admitted as much! However, that lack of knowledge didnt stop the conceited fellow from attempting to discredit the VP. That Hon. Johnstone Muthama of Wiper party had made some statements that were favorable to merchants of deceit, was reason enough to go after the VP. Previous pronouncements by former justice minister Mutula Kilonzo were also revisited as evidence enough that the two were mouth pieces of the VP. The columnist didnt want to understand that Hon. members speak their minds to try to guard their interests without any shred of prodding. Obviously, he was telling us that what goes on at Raila’s Odm party supposedly must be replicated in all other parties. And anything short of that is presumably unreal.

    Conveniently, precedents are overlooked, if not deliberately trashed. WDP is indeed the only party to have given its members true freedom. Dictatorship is unheard of in the party. It never punishes dissent like what normally merchants of deceit do. That its chair is already in another party but retains his ministerial post is a democratic feat that cant be found in any other party. We know what happened after Odm members started seeing the nakesdness in their former little king! Perhaps, if the columnist was honest enough with his selfish enterprise, he would have told us in the same breath that party chairman was running around with brother Ruto at VP’s request! After bitterness was converted to truth after VP took off with Odm-K, Kenyans must be fools. When Kalonzo took off with the vice presidency that we were eyeing, he supposedly became an “opportunist” and a man without a “stand.” After the VP undid our mockery and shamed us, we had to “criminalize” passing in between. And after it looked like Kenyans were buying our cheap mischiefs, that become our permanent politics despite pretentious reform credentials!

    Brother Hon. Uhuru is now being asked to explain his deal with brother Ruto. And by people who are not even TNA members! Whats the rationale behind it other than mischievious purposes? Does that tally with lame selfish apologies that come too late in the day? Then Kenyans are quickly bombarded with new found “need” for apologies that outrightly lack specificity! Surely, somebody must be living in unbelievable dream world. Somebody is definitely taking Kenyans for granted. Indeed, somebody thinks that after Kenyans bought his lies as one-day-fun, that saw his bitterness marked by falsehoods, turned in to one-day-truth, those childish little tricks can get us done at this late hour. No wonder fraudsters call themselves the only reformers in the country. No wonder Kenyans “dont read” books that expose conmanship!

  • William

    A fellow like the writer of this article, who seems not to have much to offer, is maybe only looking to get thirty dirty pieces of silver. He would, under other circumstances, belong in jail for engaging in hate speech. We don’t need this kind of drivel at this time.This kind of open eyed hypocricy will lead us nowhere. We, however, need to pray earnestly!There will be many conmen and prophets of doom seeking to divide Kenyans using ethnic pens in this electioneering period, and we should all be ware! Media such as yours should also be careful not to take us back to 2008. Let us all strive to present our country before God alive!

  • Mich

    Unfortunately, you have only one vote Bw Ngunjiri. You can’t stop we the people.

  • Duncan Muchina

    Your article would be good were you not an avowed RAO supporter. Sometimes as a columnist non-partisanship works better. One can’t help but see through your article to the other side of the river where you patch “innocently”. Good day Sir!

  • disqus_SsA0tyAHuh

    Wambugu this piece reflects an idle mind hired to spike the trust and thriving relationships bet two communities with suspicion, hatred, and animosity towards each other. The nation is trying to heal and this two main communities which tore each other apart have reconciled and working hand in hand. The burden this nation has laboured with are the guns for hire like yourself!

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