Known as a master tactician in Kenyan politics, Deputy President Dr William Samoei arap Ruto gets what he wants.
However, the wave akin to a Tsunami is seemingly lifting the sturdy politician from off his feet if the latest Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) occurrences are anything to go by.
Put in former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda’s words, BBI is attracting a ‘sea of humanity’ wherever it goes and ‘is the future of this country.’
For a man who neither smokes nor drinks, DP Ruto’s long nights of strategy seem to wear him out with each passing day even as the BBI juggernaut catches steam.
Tuesday, January 21, a section of DP Ruto allies led by Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen made a rather unexpected move to join the BBI bandwagon.
This went against their master’s earlier rhetoric that the mobilization exercise around BBI was “a waste of public resources and time.”
While the legislators announced they would be organizing the BBI rallies from their own contributions, the stage seems set for the great battle of 2022 General elections.
During the last BBI rally in Kakamega, DP Ruto accused the organizers of mentioning his name more often than they did BBI.
Sceptic Tanga Tanga legislators have always discredited the handshake and later the BBI as an intricate plan to shove DP Ruto away from the 2022 arithmetic.
DP Ruto Begins 2022 Campaigns
Immediately after the Kakamega BBI forum that saw a parallel meeting by Ruto’s allies thwarted and organizers scattered, the DP remarked that the whole thing had been an ODM affair in readiness for 2022 elections.
The announcement Tuesday by his allies suggested that DP Ruto was not just going to sit and wait for the BBI tsunami to sweep him over but would be organizing his own rallies.
The move was occasioned by a decision by the state to place Elgeyo-Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos to spearhead BBI in the greater Rift-Valley region. Tolgos is a close ally of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi- a fierce critic of DP Ruto.
With Tolgos at the helm of the BBI drive in DP Ruto’s home turf, his interests are at the mercy of the organizers he suspects are out to scuttle his 2022 Presidential ambition.
A Different BBI?
While the much-anticipated BBI report was expected to bring about sweeping changes in the structure of Government, its proposals were rather underwhelming.
DP Ruto allies who were originally apprehensive about the report recommending a weak President and a powerful Prime Minister would later throw their weight behind it.
However, the MPs have since held fears that the publicised BBI report may not be the originally compiled piece, thus the need for another country-wide political mobilisation.
Running out of Tact
Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri has since claimed DP Ruto’s official cars have been withdrawn and handed to organizers of the BBI, giving the initiative a new twist.
While all Mt Kenya governors are with President Kenyatta in the BBI, his latest decision to crack the whip on Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri became the last stroke on the camel’s back.
Analysts have requested DP Ruto to resign but he has remained adamant, steering clear of any decision to prematurely abandon his pact with President Kenyatta.
Since the coming of President Kenyatta’s erstwhile rival Raila Odinga into the picture, DP Ruto has experienced a cold shoulder from the President despite their earlier dalliance.
While the DP has tried to cut a figure of ‘everything is in control,’ the marriage is irretrievably gone with the wind.
President Kenyatta rarely attends functions with his Deputy. In their last meeting in Mombasa, DP Ruto was kicked out of his official residence forcing him to spend the night at the English Point Marina hotel.
In former Mukurweini MP Kabando Kabando’s words, DP Ruto is ” No longer at ease. The centre cannot hold. Things fall apart.”