It is a cinch that the 2022 political banter and battle intensifies by the minute and the man at the center of this fierce war is the Deputy President William Ruto
Rift Valley MPs now want President Uhuru Kenyatta to come clean and assure them that he still supports Ruto’s quest to succeed him in respect to the deal Rift Valley and Central Kenya entered in, in 2012.
According to sources privy to the deal Uhuru and Ruto — then leading TNA and URP, respectively — had agreed that should they win the election, Uhuru would serve for 10 years, then he will back Ruto for another 10 years.
But Ruto an his allies have been in jitters over whether the deal still holds following the Uhuru and Raila Odinga handshake on March 9.
Ruto’s lieutenants from the Rift Valley, Mt Kenya and Western regions believe the reentry of Raila could jolt Jubilee’s smooth power transition strategy and puncture the DP’s 2022 presidential ambitions, if not briddled.
“Since the two (Raila and Uhuru) shook hands outside Harambee House, his body language has not been that assuring. During the burial of Kenneth Matiba in Murang’a county a week ago and during the State of the Nation address in Parliament last week, the President never made any reference to the DP and this has added salt to suspicion. This needs to be cured by Uhuru coming out,” one of Ruto’s men told the Star.
While Uhuru has assured the nation that the handshake with his long-time political rival has nothing to do with the 2022 elections, Siaya Senator and Minority leader James Orengo’s remarks over the weekend that Raila could take a fifth shot at the top seat has deepened the suspicion.
“We have a strategy and it is part of what you are currently witnessing in the country. Raila is a visionary, he sees where most of us can’t,” Orengo said in Migori county on Saturday.
That has fueled talk in political circles that some politicians who lost in the August 2017 elections have teamed up with a clique of influential and wealthy businessmen from the Mt Kenya region in pushing to position Raila to succeed Uhuru.
“It would be prudent for the President to come out and reassure Rift Valley that the handshake has nothing to do with the 2022 election and will not disrupt the deal,” Belgut MP Nelson Koech.
“Unless the President comes out and pronounces himself on the agreement they have with the DP, and assures us as a region that he will not shortchange us, some of our supporters are asking questions,” Koech added.
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