- DP’s allies are reeling in confusion as Uhuru sends mixed signals about 2022 election.
A Central Kenya lawmaker who has been angling to be DP’s running mate in the 2022 said Dr Ruto had asked them to assume “a low profile for the time being.”
An intense succession war is tearing through ruling party Jubilee and isolating Deputy President William Ruto from some of his top allies and defenders.
The tussle pits those seeking to stay on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s good side against those who want the party to confirm that the DP will be their presidential candidate in the next General Election.
A Central Kenya lawmaker who has been angling to be DP’s running mate in the 2022 polls told the Saturday Nation that Dr Ruto had asked them to assume “a low profile for the time being.”
And now after President Kenyatta read the riot act to Jubilee luminaries who included the House Majority leaders Kipchumba Murkomen (Senate), Aden Duale (National Assembly), and Majority Whip Susan Kihika (Senate) and her National Assembly counterpart Ben Washiali, all perceived close Ruto allies, even the courageous ones may have to scamper for safety.
Former Jubilee party vice chairman David Murathe’s outbursts that the DP should not succeed President Kenyatta — and the failure by the President to defend his assistant — has caused some luminaries who were about to join the DP to believe Dr Ruto may not be the President’s favoured successor.
Among the leaders DP Ruto was looking forward to receiving in his camp are Governors Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Josephat Nanok (Turkana), Kiraitu Murungi (Meru), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula. They were to form his core team as he reached out to more pointmen across the country.
Similarly, some like Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, who was a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of the Deputy President, has suddenly gone silent amid reports of a fallout over the chairmanship of the Council of Governors. In a deal hammered by Mr Ruto in 2017, Mr Mvurya was to take over the council in June 2018. It did not happen and instead, his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya emerged the winner during the election held last week.
Former Mombasa senator Omar Hassan Omar is no longer seen regularly in Mr Ruto’s company, while Dr Paul Otuoma took up a government job offered by people close to the President.
In Western Kenya, where the DP had received a major boost after the endorsement of former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale early in the year, things have gone silent.