No so long ago, Deputy President William Ruto went to the most popular Television Station, Citizen, with millions of avid viewers in Kenya and internationally to proclaim, “I do not believe that Corruption can stop a leader from delivering in Kenya”.
Whether the timing of the statement was deliberate or not, it came at the heightened campaign by President Uhuru Kenyatta against Corruption. Uhuru has severally sworn in the name of God that he will fight Corruption to the bitter end. He has sworn at home and abroad that there will no sacred cows in the war on corruption.
To drive his point home a few months ago, he told Kenyans in Namibia that “he will not spare his brother, his sister or even his closest political friend.” A statement that was seen by many as a direct reference to his deputy Ruto. The statement led to tampering with the President’s online social media with “closest political friend” being edited out. The President has since stopped using Twitter and Facebook platforms.
The President’s message was categorically clear in both English and Kiswahili but appears to have gone through Ruto’s right ear and out through the left one to hold the belief he has on corruption and expect Uhuru to embrace him as a partner in building Kenya with the current levels of Corruption. That is asking for too much from the President totally devoid of mutual respect.
Ruto’s statement therefore ran counter to the President’s declared position on Corruption and was a political affront, personal challenge to Uhuru and to his government and indeed, insubordination to his boss. The two cannot be running the same government as Ruto frequently claims.
The Deputy President position on graft runs counter to the collective cabinet responsibility to the Kenyan nation by those entrusted to deal with Corruption, economic crimes and criminal cartels driving the socio-economic evil. That responsibility rests on the shoulders of the President, his deputy and the Cabinet Secretaries collectively.
To a large extent, the Deputy President was confirming a view held by many Kenyans that he is the most corrupt leader in Kenya. The Kenyans views were published in IPSOS Opinion Poll in August last year. Both dismissed the Poll as intended to malign them by their political detractors.
President Uhuru is emotionally indisposed to deal, associate and confide in a person who publicly subscribes and believes that Corruption, Kenya’s number one economic enemy, cannot frustrate national prosperity.
Over the weekend Ruto supporters dug him into a new political war front against the ruling Jubilee Party Secretary-General demanding for the resignation of the Cabinet Secretary without portfolio Raphael Tuju on the basis of a telephone they were discussing the torching of Kiambaa Church in which women and children and the aged who had sought refuge in a holy shrine were burnt to death.
Former Limuru MP George Nyanja had told Tuju that if Ruto wanted to endear himself to Kikuyus in the Rift Valley, he should build a new Church at Kiambaa replete with a commemorative plaque in memory of those who perished there. Ruto must have called on his foot soldiers to demand immediate Tuju resignation.
Ruto foot soldiers, also known as @Rutocrats and Tangatanga squad, were quick to fire a salvo towards President Uhuru warning him they will withdraw their monthly subscription of Ksh 10,000 to the party he leads Jubilee, if Tuju does not resign because he was planted there by opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Again, Ruto was stabbing the President from the back by challenging his choice of Party Secretary General and Cabinet Secretary. Ruto, who has been accused for meddling with 2017 Jubilee nominations to plant men and women who will further his 2022 presidential dream, appears to be more determined than ever before that nobody should stand in his way at Jubilee.
Uhuru has developed very cordial ties with Raila now being accused by #Rutocrats of planting Tuju in Jubilee to ruin it. The attack on Tuju can only mean an attack on Uhuru-Raila affable relationship, which seeks to united Kenyan communities under one Nation.
But the most glaring direct attack on Uhuru and his Presidency by Ruto is his latest wild claims that some Cabinet Secretary from the President’s central Kenya have been holding clandestine meetings plotting to kill him.
Three Cabinet Secretaries from central Kenya were asked to report to the DCI headquarters to shed more light on their alleged plot. ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and Sicily Kariuki (Health) accompanied Munya to present themselves at the DCI headquarters after Ruto filed the complaint on phone.
According to Munya, speaking on behalf of the other two ministers, Ruto claimed the CSs, some principal secretaries, heads of parastatals and other government operatives from Mt Kenya were holding secret meetings to plan to kill him.
Others implicated were Principal Secretaries Andrew Kamau, Energy and Petroleum, Joseph Njoroge, Energy and Andrew Wakahiu, head of the presidential delivery unit.
The plot, Ruto allegedly told DCI, was part of a wider scheme to ensure he does not take over after President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 when his second and final term ends. Interestingly Ruto’s complaint was to a Kalenjin DCI officer Michael Sang.
The meetings, according to Ruto telephone call to the police, were held at La Mada Hotel, along Thika Road. The nature of claims and the hasty action Ruto took are totally devoid of the intelligence expected of a man holding an office only a heartbeat from the presidency.
No wonder, after more than two hours of questioning, the ministers emerged from the DCI headquarters and told journalists that they had not recorded any statement because Ruto had not made any formal complaint.
“There is no written allegation recorded in the OB and no complainant has written any report. The only written statement is a letter doing rounds in social media but because DCI could not authenticate it, we refused to respond to its (wild) contents.” he added.
He said their request to the detectives to record the contents of Ruto’s call was not granted, hence the questioning could not proceed. Munya, Mucheru and Ms Kariuki denied any plan to eliminate the Deputy President.
“We have made it clear that at no time have we ever met anywhere (not just at La Mada) to plan killing the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya or any other person for that matter. We came here because we are law-abiding citizens,” he said.
“I think it is irresponsible, unfair and it is intended to portray us in a very bad light so as to look like criminals who meet to plot criminal activities,” the Cabinet Secretary said.
Munya complained over the alleged plot, accusing Ruto of linking him to the plot without proper investigations.
Munya said meetings by Mt Kenya leaders are only held to address development concerns of the region and that they would continue to take place as scheduled. The concerns, he pointed out, revolved around the leaders’ alleged slow implementation of major development projects in the region and claims that central Kenya Cabinet Secretaries had become inaccessible.
He added that they would present themselves to the DCI to record statements as soon as the Deputy President files an official complaint against them or if the detectives authenticated the letter alleging the plot.
“If they authenticate the letter and they find it is genuine and thus requiring our response we are ready to do so anytime,” said Munya.
“The complainant (RUTO) makes a substantive complaint in writing against which we can be able to respond. But we have made it clear that at no time have we met anywhere, not just in La Mada, to kill the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya,” he said.
“We want to confirm we have been having meetings. Indeed, we had a meeting in La Mada and we will continue having meetings because under the Constitution of Kenya, there is freedom of assembly and expression,” Munya added.
Now, for Ruto to be using Kalenjin police officers to hound Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries, he is either extremely paranoid or determined to destroy the ruling party Jubilee, Uhuru’s government and plunge Kenya into chaos. His selective choice of Central Kenya ministers and top civil servants, stinks of monumental mischief.
The Munya affair reminds many of Moi era Kleptocracy. Those were the days when people like Njeru Kathangu and George Anyona were detained after they were found in a butchery at Dagoretti Corner. They were accused of plotting to overthrow Moi government and install Matiba because among the bones of the roast meat they were eating was a piece of paper with the name Ken – short for Kenneth.
However, a threat to a Deputy President’s life is such a serious matter that Ruto should have promptly consulted with the President before calling a Kalenjin police officer. It is such a grave matter that the National Intelligence Service would or ought to have been involved. If Ruto was President with such temperament he most likely would have ordered for the plotters immediate extra-judicial extermination.
It is not common in assassination plots for Cabinet Ministers and chief public officers to meet in open hotels in public glare to plot the elimination of a Deputy President in such numbers as claimed by Ruto. If he has no tangible evidence, the deputy president can expect libel and defamation suits and political backlash of immeasurable magnitude.
How is Ruto going to relate to the Cabinet Secretaries during Cabinet meetings after such damming allegations if they are false? How will he associate with people he considers his potential killers and they in turn think of him as a malicious human being? How are the alleged plotters going to be received in politically hyper-sensitive Kalenjinland?
The whole matter can be summed up as spiteful, mischievous and wicked disrespect to the President by his Deputy. This is yet another turn in the widening split between the two and their messy divorce as a result of irreconcilable political, economic and personal differences.