- December 24, 2019
- Posted by: p mulee
A group of Mt Kenya power brokers determined to control President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession is cobbling an alliance to lock out Deputy President William Ruto from State House in 2022.
Former and current MPs allied to Uhuru as well as those in ODM leader Raila Odinga’s coterie of friends and advisers are working behind the scenes.
The plan, the Star established after talking to various sources, involves key figures in the Kenyatta and Odinga families.
“There is a belief that the only way to stop Ruto is by forming an alliance around the handshake with membership from across the country,” a source who was at a meeting in which the agenda was the subject of the discussion told the Star.
Their key concern is to ensure the BBI proposal for a Prime Minister is realised early, long before the next election.
Coincidentally, Ruto yesterday declared he is not worried about political plots around the BBI so long as the proposals make it clear that the voter has the final say.
“If they say that Kenyans do not have a say and decisions will be made in boardrooms, that one will not be allowed. We will not allow two or three people to sit in a boardroom and decide who will lead us,” the VP said in Vihiga.
The Super Six proposal involves the identification of a ‘neutral’ figure as the presidential candidate to run against Ruto.
One of the proposals is to persuade Uhuru and Raila, in the spirit of their March 9, 2018, handshake to endorse Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i as their presidential candidate.
The slot of Prime Minister will be handed to Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru with Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho as deputies.
Kalonzo’s role, according to sources, will be Speaker of the National Assembly or the Governor of Nairobi.
A key Uhuru ally is said to have hosted Kalonzo’s representatives, at least twice in the last two months, to discuss the alliance.
Insiders say recent political events are not a coincidence but designed to put the alliance in shape.
“Look at recent events and they will tell you that there is something in the offing. Why did Waiguru host Matiang’i and that Joho represented Raila at the function?
“Why has Mudavadi been meeting the President? Why was Kalonzo so fast to deny any political talks with Ruto? It is written all over. Just connect the dots,” a powerbroker from Mt Kenya region said.
There has been speculation that the President and Raila might endorse a candidate to take on Ruto.
Uhuru, who is serving the second and final term, had made a deal with Ruto for the latter’s support in 2013 and 2017. He would reciprocate in 2022 for Ruto to be his automatic successor.
Though some around him say that this has not changed, Uhuru appears to send mixed signals whenever he speaks.
“They see me silent and think ‘he is just there and knows nothing’. There is nothing I do not know…When the time comes, we will come and we will speak with you on what we will do,” Uhuru said in Mang’u on December 4.
The visits by Uhuru’s family as well as his close ally – former Jubilee vice-chair David Murathe – to Raila’s Bondo home created the notion there is more to the handshake for the Kenyattas and the Odingas.
Those in the know say the Kenyatta and Odinga scions have visited each other’s homes more times than the President has been to Ruto’s home in the last two years.
Murathe’s and Muhoho Kenyatta’s visit to Raila’s Bondo home created the notion there is more to the handshake for the Kenyattas and Odingas. Muhoho is Uhuru’s brother
On January 20, Muhoho was the main guest at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s memorial service in Bondo.
On August 2, their uncle, George Muhoho, was the chief guest at a Raila function at Ringa Boys’ Secondary School in Homa Bay County.
Raila has also held private meetings – only posting photos later, with other Kenyatta family members including Uhuru’s sister Kristina Pratt and their cousins Beth Mugo and Ngengi Muigai.
Asked about the talks, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, a key mobiliser for the pro-Uhuru camp, said: “I have not heard about it. Maybe people are just cooking up stories because December can be a dry period for newsrooms.”
Ruto, while in Kakamega for a football tournament dubbed Hustler’s Cup, cautioned against a resistance that will follow boardroom negotiations.
In reference to the BBI, whose central focus is on how to share key positions for inclusivity, the DP bid for Kenyans to have the final say.
He said he will oppose a scheme where some two or three people sit in a board room to decide who will be Kenya’s leader.
“That one will not happen. We want a leader to be elected by Kenyans,” Ruto told the ecstatic crowd.
“If Kenyans will decide, bring it on. If they want a parliamentary system or presidential or whichever they want as long as Kenyans will have a say, let us proceed,” the DP said.
Soi MP Caleb Kositany – Ruto’s close associate, said the Super Six formation is “very much welcome”.
“All we want is a level playing field. We have no issues with anybody running for President. We will also be forming our team but ultimately, it is Kenyans who will decide,” Kositany said adding that a few leaders should not decide who succeeds Uhuru.
Since the handshake, Uhuru has been giving what many see as a lukewarm treatment to Ruto thus causing jitters about the pre-UhuRuto 2013 deal.
In his weekend meetings with delegations from Kisii, Kakamega and Mt Kenya, Ruto appeared to say all is well between him with Uhuru.
However, he told of a group that the BBI was formed to fix and isolate him as the common “enemy”.
His allies believe that even arrests in the corruption purge target the DP, the latest being Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen’s assertions.
The senator cited the case of Governors Mike Sonko, Moses Lenolkulal, and Ferdinand Waititu as part of the scheme to weaken Ruto.
The top organ of the Kikuyu Council of Elders yesterday fired a warning shot to Ruto against dividing Mt Kenya.
At a meeting in Ruaka, Kiambu County, they dismissed the GEMA delegation that trooped to Ruto’s Sugoi home last Thursday.
The elders’ clarion call was that “President Kenyatta must be respected”, as well as state officers.
Their secretary-general, Peter Munga, told reporters that the delegation that travelled to Sugoi was “told there would be money”.
“When you tell people they will be given money, they will definitely come. The Deputy President should, however, remember that you can rent a Kikuyu but you can’t buy one,” Munga said.
At the Sugoi meeting, the DP is said to have asked the elders to sell his political agenda, a move the Munga team says is premature and hurts the Big Four agenda.
The Rift Valley Kikuyu leaders met with their Kalenjin counterparts and shared mursik, the ceremonial Kalenjin milk as a sign of peaceful coexistence.
Peter Karanja, representing Uasin Gishu, said: “Kikuyu’s are not for sale. There are systems and structures that one must acknowledge if they want to be supported.”
The council says its concerns should not be treated as seeking to create conflict as they can support the DP.
“The issue of calling certain people to his home and then purport to say elders have spoken is what we are condemning,” Karanja said.
Wachira Kiago – the chairman of the council, said: “That meeting was not an elders’ function. We are not part of it and even the letters of invitation were not clear on the agenda.”