In Summary
  • Difference of opinion is perfectly encouraged and admissible in a democracy.

  • Kenya aspires to promote democratic practices from the parties all the way to the government.

  • But that is different from defiance and rebellion. Jubilee Party is split in the middle with one camp revolving around President Uhuru Kenyatta and the other Dr Ruto.

  • In this context, party matters and government policies are viewed through dense lenses determined by the political orientation.

The goings-on in the Cabinet, and the government in general, are worrisome. There is a wide chasm and divided loyalties. And matters exploded in the past few weeks following the sensational claims that some Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and other top government officials had been holding meetings to plot to kill Deputy President William Ruto.

There have since been accusations and counter-accusations that show a government in disarray, and where the chief executive is encumbered and unable to whip his charges and line them up in a row. The consequence is paralysis.

Early this week, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, one of the top officials whose names were mentioned in the alleged assassination plot, took on Dr Ruto on the claims, dismissing them as baseless and challenging him to file a formal complaint with the police instead of throwing political broadsides. The CSs mentioned, among them Mr Peter Munya, have equally responded forcefully, dismissing the claims with odious contempt.

Meanwhile, top Jubilee politicians have been throwing tirades at one another, signalling absence of discipline and loyalty in the party. Unless checked, the division may soon manifest in Parliament, with a potentially adverse impact on government business.

Difference of opinion is perfectly encouraged and admissible in a democracy. Kenya aspires to promote democratic practices from the parties all the way to the government. But that is different from defiance and rebellion. Jubilee Party is split in the middle with one camp revolving around President Uhuru Kenyatta and the other Dr Ruto. In this context, party matters and government policies are viewed through dense lenses determined by the political orientation. Objectivity and rationality are inapplicable.

Consequently, the government is forced into a dangerous corner, where it cannot rally itself to execute plans as envisaged. Yet, for this last term, President Kenyatta has committed to prioritising and delivering on his ‘Big Four Agenda’. But such an ambitious plan cannot work if the Cabinet, and government, is at odds with itself. Ultimately, the citizens suffer, paying taxes for services they never get from a government atrophying through self-destruct.

All this ruckus is linked to succession politics. Dr Ruto is all out to ascend to power in 2022 and, to achieve that, has embarked on a whistle-start and whistle-stop campaign, traversing the country to build up following. Notwithstanding the right to movement and association, it is too early for election campaigns and which are bound to raise tensions and undermine development.

President Kenyatta ought to create order in his government.