Opinion / Commentaries
Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 11:38 EAT
Sunday’s outburst by TNA nominated Senator Paul Njoroge castigating Deputy President William Ruto against his regular claims that the Jubilee Alliance will stick together in the 2017 and 2022 elections should serve as the final warning to the VP’s supporters that Jubilee is a trap crafted to use and dump them.
Ruto has maintained that the Jubilee marriage will ensure that President Uhuru Kenyatta wins his second and last term in 2017 and then propel him (Ruto) overwhelmingly in 2022 for another two terms to end in 2032.
The wise thing for URP elected leaders and voters before any embarrassment is unleashed is to immediately withdraw support from Jubilee and join other progressive leaders in electing a unifying and non-discriminative government next year.
Similar outbursts by Kiambu Governor William Kabogo have not been forgotten yet. Interestingly only TNA lightweights including MCAs, activists, nondescript legislators in TNA pretend to reprimand Kabogo. The real big boys in TNA including President Uhuru himself have kept a studious silence even as the governor’s outlandish utterances provoked panic and anger within URP and the Rift Valley at large.
Failure by President Uhuru and his closest family and political allies to disown Kabogo speaks volumes. It is no surprise that Senator Njoroge got the guts to confront the Deputy President over Uhuru succession. Was he sent to amplify the message to DP Ruto and URP that TNA won’t support the DP to succeed the President?
To begin with, being a nominated Senator, Paul Njoroge is a very strategic voice within TNA. He definitely got his position to serve in Parliament due to special relations and influence around Uhuru Kenyatta and his cronies in TNA. Kenya’s political history is full of cases of very powerful and influential nominated MPs whose word often mirrored the thinking in State House. Notable ones include Ezekiel Barngettuny, Mulu Mutisya, and more recently George Nyamweya during the PNU reign under President Mwai Kibaki. When they spoke, Kenyans knew their message was from high up even to the Head of State himself.
Did Paul Njoroge indulge in pure mischief or was he a messenger for a faction within TNA which is opposed to William Ruto succeeding Uhuru Kenyatta thus endangering the President’s re-election in 2017 ? Kenyans would expect TNA to show true alarm and speedily punish the Senator to silence similar dangerous speakers. The first step would be President Uhuru reprimanding and denouncing him strongly. This should be followed swiftly by his nomination being revoked pronto.
However, from where I sit I see nothing like that is happening. The President won’t reprimand the senator and TNA won’t revoke his nomination. Only a few small timers and publicity seekers will rise up and noisily pretend to fight for the DP. After just a week of such, the matter will be left to disappear just before another senior or strategic TNA personality shoots up with similar denunciations of the 2022 Uhuru succession deal.
It is now more than ever before clear that the URP and especially DP Ruto’s Kalenjin voters have already been shortchanged for 2022. Their TNA partners seem to be ready to dump the DP and they are just releasing these messages piecemeal to prepare URP psychologically for the looming painful divorce.
It is now up to DP William Ruto to see the writing on the wall and call TNA’s bluff. As many other politicians have said before: it is better to team up with colleagues who appreciate you than cling where you are merely tolerated. Similarly, Rift Valley voters should reclaim their community and political pride by casting their votes with progressives who will appreciate the support than stick to partners who do not appreciate your worth and value in their victory.
Even before Senator Njoroge’s outbursts and Governor Kabogo’s two weeks earlier, Kenyans knew that TNA would never vote for DP Ruto in 2022. TNA wants Ruto’s support for 2017 but they are telling him to forget about 2022 because the TNA grassroots voters and members are uncomfortable supporting him to rise to power.
If Ruto keeps quiet and persists in herding Rift Valley voters to re-elect Jubilee when it has increasingly become obvious that there will be no reciprocation in 2022, then something has to be extremely wrong with him or he has been thoroughly compromised and he doesn’t care about his millions of supporters. In other words, he is taking his supporters for granted.
Rift Valley should not be fooled to protect a compromised or threatened deputy presidency at this time. Ruto has no safeguards to ward off a determined maneuver by TNA to disinherit him immediately after Uhuru wins his second term. If anything, he will most likely be thrown under the bus within the first year of Jubilee retaining the presidency.
The only viable option is to dehorn the TNA plotters and teach them a hard lesson by unconditionally throwing URP support behind the opposition and make Uhuru a one term president.
The writer is the Keiyo ODM chairman