President Uhuru Kenyatta has given his assurance not once, not twice, about his support for William Ruto’s, his deputy party leader, presidential ambitions come 2022. This assurance he gave during the campaign period last year and he has reiterated the same even after his victory last year.
Uhuru is the Mt Kenya political leader. As the political leader, he was able to mobilize the region’s electorate almost to the last man to vote not just for him but also elect a majority of representatives across all positions on the Jubilee party ticket. Now, Uhuru has publicly promised to mobilize the same support, if not more, for Ruto’s presidential bid come 2022. He has also appealed to elected leaders to focus on maendeleo first.
It is therefore quite disrespectful and naïve for Jubilee elected leaders, especially from Mt Kenya, to be falling over themselves trying to show their support for the deputy president come 2022 instead of focusing on the Jubilee promises.
Everyone knows that of all the elected leaders within the region, only Uhuru’s support counts to the DP. The rest can only pretend to offer support but in reality they have none, even their positions are not guaranteed leave alone mobilizing votes for the DP.
On the other hand, the Jubilee party has a hierarchy where the President is the party leader while the DP is the deputy party leader. The party has a clear succession plan where the DP is to be the party’s 2022 presidential candidate.
The party controls two arms of the government, the executive and legislature and therefore is in charge of running the nation’s affairs. The party leader has spelt out the Big Four agenda for his second term in office. It is therefore logical that one sure way to ensure the DP has a smooth sailing in 2022 is to work for the people and deliver on promises made to Wanjiku. This will give the DP a solid platform to run his campaigns on.
Anything less than performance for these leaders will be a liability to the DP. Actually, I think some of them like the Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, have come to the realization that the task at hand is too much for them that they are just clutching at straws to the extent of purporting to advise the President’s backyard on why it should support Ruto.
If Jubilee is a serious political party as it claims to be, it should ensure there is less politicking about 2022, at least for the first three years of this second term.
One major effect of the handshake between President Uhuru and Raila Odinga was to deflect attention from the existing political matrix/arithmetic that pitted Jubilee against NASA. Disintegration of the opposition and Raila’s commitment to work with the government resulted in expansion of the political space and eased attention (and pressure) off 2022 elections, especially for Mt Kenya region.
This was (and I believe it still is) an opportune moment to seriously embark on development. But some clueless leaders from the Mountain region are gallivanting around expressing ‘their support’ for the DP’s 2022 bid and in effect, undoing what Uhuru had achieved with the handshake.
There is nothing wrong with expressing support for the DP, the President has done that before, but putting too much focus on his 2022 bid this early is an insult to voters.