Deputy President William Ruto addresses the press at his Karen office on April 9.
STRATEGIST:Deputy President William Ruto addresses the press at his Karen office on April 9.
Image: DPPS
By Team

Deputy President William Ruto will soon open a swanky presidential campaign office and assemble an expanded 2022 think tank to build a formidable force to beat ‘the system’.

The country’s second in command, has already embarked on an elaborate strategy to build a solid national following that his allies believe would crush his rivals.

An insider told the Star that the DP will in the next few months hire more professionals and strategists  to support his current lean team, in what could usher his historic stab at the presidency.

Early next year, the DP will then unveil a presidential campaign secretariat at an upscale estate in Nairobi to serve as the nerve centre for his operations.

The DP has been under a storm from his critics who have accused him of turning his Karen official residence into a personal campaign venue for political meetings.

Having been edged out of Jubilee after a falling out with President Uhuru Kenyatta, the DP’s 2022 presidential ticket under the ruling part is uncertain.

This makes his presence at the Pangani-based Jubilee headquarters, which served as the campaign nerve centre for the 2017 polls, untenable.

“A building has already been identified. It has an expansive compound enough to park at least 200 cars. Renovations are likely to start towards the end of the year,” the source told the Star.

Recently, the DP’s allies opened what they called a meeting office for Jubilee rebels and named it Jubilee Asili Centre.

Analysts say this was a move to test the waters and prepare the minds of his supporters for an impending shift.

The plans to launch a new office have been delayed by what another insider said is a process to capture one of the country’s political bigwigs into the Ruto camp.

“It has taken long but finally the crossover will happen any time soon,” the source said.

Once the presidential campaign secretariat is fully furnished, the DP will relocate his 2022 campaign meetings out of his official Karen Residence.

“We realised that the Karen office being the official state residence for the deputy president, it has limitations especially restricted access. We want a place where Kenyans can freely visit without much security protocols,” the source added.

In a rare campaign strategy, Ruto will also open private campaign offices across many counties with those sparsely populated set to have consolidated region chapters to drive his 2022 dream.

This would be a departure from the usual practice where presidential aspirants rely on party regional offices to conduct grassroots campaigns.

The DP has dared the ‘system’ to bring it on, saying he has ‘God’ and the majority of Kenyans to back what he has termed as an unstoppable 2022 presidential campaign.

“I just want to tell them: We’re waiting for you. This system, this deep state we are being told about, we are waiting for it,” Ruto said at his Karen home on Tuesday.

This was the clearest indication yet that after the falling out with Uhuru, the daring Ruto was ready to take the bull by its horns.

The ‘system’ or the ‘deep state’ is believed to refer to powerful bureaucrats, political operatives and tycoons that informally control the State.

The Star on Saturday reported that DP’s outbursts against the ‘system’ are meant to send a message to his rivals that he doesn’t need President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backing to win the 2022 polls.

Opposition Chief Raila Odinga’s brother Oburu Odinga, recently claimed that the ex-prime minister will win the 2022 polls because he now has the ‘system’ which he said is controlled by the President.

However, to counter the belief among Raila’s backers that his presidential victory would be guaranteed, Ruto’s allies say he will build an ‘anti-system’ narrative.

The messaging, which Ruto’s allies say is an integral plank in his 2022 presidential strategy, will complement his ‘hustler’ nation campaigns targeting the grassroots.

The DP will use his financial war-chest to penetrate every corner of the country through his economic empowerment project targeting the youth and women in small scale businesses.

The financial help, according to his allies who spoke to the Star, would fortify his grassroots presence across the country as well as project himself as a man who knows what to do to change the people’s lives.

“We believe we have the best strategy ever to counter the system in 2022. Our victory will be a confirmation that no system will beat the greater will of the people,” said Soy MP Caleb Kositany.

Having been boxed out of state power, Ruto has spiritedly blamed his woes on the political camaraderie between the President and Raila.

However, some allies of the President and Raila have claimed the DP is preparing his supporters for defeat and chaos in 2022 after realising the same system which he benefited from has abandoned him.

After most of his key allies were purged from key leadership positions in Parliament following Uhuru’s ruthless onslaught, Ruto has turned his Karen office and his Sugoi home, Eldoret, as his operational venues.

Ruto has of late been reaching out to the less fortunate in the society and has offered them material support in a bid to endear himself to them.

He has been hosting tens of youth, women and business owners to whom he has donated assorted equipment including car washing machines, sewing machines, tanks and motorcycles.

The donations worth millions of shillings have given Ruto’s rivals a hint of the massive financial war-chest at his disposal as he launches his presidential stab in 2022.

On Thursday, Kimilli MP Didmus Barasa, a close ally of Ruto, confirmed that the DP will rely on a national force of supporters to deliver a resounding victory against the system.

He said like Mwai Kibaki in 2002, Ruto will crush the so-called system because of the massive support he enjoys across the country.

“In 2022, Kenya will for the second time affirm that the system does not matter and what matters are Kenyan voters,” he said.

Barasa said the DP will spread his economic empowerment agenda cross the country and show how small businesses can transform lives.

“If the DP can be magnanimous enough and use his own saved resources to help the youth and women, then he is the right man for the presidency,” Barasa added.

The DP who has warned the ‘system’ against plans to rig him out and urged his supporters to be vigilant, has been blocked from attending key state meetings and launching national projects.

Ruto no longer attends Cabinet meetings and has been missing at the National Security Council in which he is a member.

Political analyst Felix Odhiambo on Thursday said the DP’s decision to reach out to voters directly might complicate the 2022 presidential contest.

“If the DP manages to build a huge support across the country, then he might make it difficult even for the so-called system to rig him out without fearing consequences,” he said.

The analyst said the DP has now declared war against the dynasties whom he said prefer system-backed guys than ‘outsiders’ like Ruto.

Already, there is palpable confidence among Raila’s supporters that the system would favour them in 2022.

Raila has previously said that his victories in the past were stolen by the system, which he claimed did everything to block his ascension to power.