, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 27 – The political landscape in Kenya has been changing faster than one can utter the words ‘State House.’
It therefore came as no shocker when Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta kicked up the political tempo on Tuesday by announcing a pre-election deal with Eldoret North MP William Ruto, only for his office to retract the statement hours later.
The saga started when the director of communications at the DPM’s office Munyori Buku, sent a statement to newsrooms saying a coalition deal had been struck between the two ICC-indicted politicians.
“Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto have a pre-election deal. The deal will be unveiled on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at the Afraha Open Grounds, Nakuru at 2pm,” the initial statement indicated.
The announcement appeared like a genuine attempt to beat a December 4 deadline by the Political Parties Act to submit coalition pacts with the Registrar of Political Parties at least three months before the elections.
Buku said the two leaders had agreed on an alliance whose goals would be national unity, prosperity for all Kenyans and reconciliation. The pact, he disclosed, was to offer a definite and clear roadmap of making Kenya an economic powerhouse in the region, Africa and the world in the next decade.
“A team from the two parties is working on the programme and plans for the day. Two caravans – one starting at Kinungi near Naivasha and the other at Kuresoi – will start the journey to Nakuru,” the statement went on.
It was indicated that like-minded party leaders, MPs, aspirants for various seats, religious, business, women, the youth, cooperative, unions, farmers and civil society leaders had been invited and would be at the big day.
Things took a different turn when hours later, another statement was sent to newsrooms clarifying that the initial dispatch was “inaccurate.”
“The fact is that negotiations are still going on and when a deal is reached, it will be the prerogative of the party principals to announce it.”
Buku hinted that the joint rally at the Afraha Grounds, Nakuru on Sunday would nonetheless go ahead as earlier communicated.
“I apologise for the earlier communication,” he ended.
Sources close to Ruto later said that he was unhappy with the hasty manner in which the statement was issued, saying that the deal would be sealed and signed in public when the time was right.
It is now likely the two will ink the agreement on Monday.
MPs interviewed later about the developments were upbeat it was only a matter of time before the deal is signed.
“If TNA and URP work together, they will form the government in the first round. The objective is to bring Kenyans together so that never again will Kenyans fight over political competition,” said John Mututho, the Naivasha MP.
“The deal is ready and we will not ask for an extension. It is only a few things which are being ironed out. It will be all inclusive,” Joshua Kutuny of Cherangany affirmed, as Belgut’s Charles Keter argued the alliance meant well for Kenyans.