Deputy President Ruto just like Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, the self-proclaimed ‘hustler’ is now accused of flying too close to the sun and the wax in his wings is melting, his ambitions having clashed with his boss’s legacy-driven second term plans.
Given the fluidity of Kenyan politics, it is hard to pinpoint where exactly the camaraderie previously enjoyed by the President and his deputy ended, but there is general consensus that it all revolves around the March 2018 Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.
DP Ruto opposed the Handshake, calling it a ploy to scuttle his State House ambitions. Forced to choose between Mr Odinga’s unflinching loyalty and DP Ruto’s unbridled ambition and constant opposition to the Handshake, President Uhuru Kenyatta appears to have not only picked the former, but also moved to deliberately undercut the DP.
Ruto’s problems started with him thinking that this was a co-presidency. His greed for power is now finishing him, which is the popular opinion in the President’s camp. Ruto is a man who has openly defied the President, even lining up MPs from Mt Kenya to abuse him left, right, and centre. Really, enough is enough!
Nominated MP Maina Kamanda cited DP Ruto’s closeness to MPs Moses Kuria, Kimani Ichung’wa and Ndindi Nyoro and using these MPs to fight the President when we know almost 80 per cent of them will go home in 2022.
Nyandarua Governor Francis Kimemia, a dyed-in-the-wool ‘establishment man’ who ran the show during President Mwai Kibaki’s time, told the Nation that the removal of Mr Murkomen and Ms Kihika from Senate leadership positions was just the beginning of what he said was a long-overdue decision.
In essence, there are never two ways in the government. It is either you work and support it or you are out. No one ever competes with the government and wins. DP Ruto has been accused of competing with President Kenyatta in launching projects, some of which are said to have stalled because they were launched before they were budgeted for, or before the contracts were completed.
For Cherang’any MP Joshua Kutuny, DP Ruto had just gone too far by refusing to take advice, fighting too many battles on too many fronts with the opposition, the Judiciary and investigative agencies, and going against the President. “Ruto is a Mr-Know-It-All. He wants to run the show, including making decisions for the Executive. There has been a lot of tolerance, but the man is incorrigible,” Mr Kutuny said.
And as the clock ticks towards 2022, DP Ruto, the indefatigable teetotaller known for his energetic rallies, must choose between remaining loyal to a union that has all the signs of a broken marriage or step even closer to the sun by biting the bullet and resigning, the ultimate show of disapproval.
It is now clear that DP Ruto’s plans went awfully wrong, and there is not much he can do about it. For William Ruto, it is not even a question of mistakes. He had a strategy that just did not work. And sometimes, even the best strategies do not work.