It was calculated. Well Planned. Midnight oil burned. And it is working out. The unveiling of the Building Bridges Initiative report has set in motion the 2022 Uhuru Kenyatta succession.
A section of stalwarts at State House and Office of the President senior officials are working on a script to have Raila Odinga as the expedient head of state.
These individuals who wield power want to use the BBI which Ruto and his allies were initially against but have now embraced to chart the Uhuru succession game plan and render Ruto irrelevant.
Shrewd Ruto might have sensed this and that explains his keenness to hijack the BBI using parliament.
These forces are also convinced that Raila will do their bidding once he assumes power and more so, retain them in senior government positions. It is on these grounds that the opposition leader has also dropped his earlier calls for a parliamentary system of government and is now comfortable with the BBI model of having a powerful president.
Those in the know intimate that the plan is being oiled by youthful State House and Harambee House officials who feel insecure should Ruto take over as president in 2022.
They fear that if Ruto takes over from Uhuru, he will go for two terms and also groom a non-Kikuyu to succeed him in 2032. So intricate and detailed is the scheme to make Raila the president that the government has ordered county commissioners, their deputies and chiefs to market the BBI report in their jurisdictions to ensure its endorsement by the public.
The current incorporation of provincial administration clearly shows powerful forces are for a referendum. Fear is that if BBI lands and is midwifed in parliament, Ruto who controls majority of MPs will have the last laugh.
If one might recall promptly, the current bad blood between Uhuru and Ruto was due to the fact that there were insinuations that, the deputy was planning an impeachment motion against Uhuru. It is this revelation that among other things inspired the handshake that enabled Uhuru to bring on board ODM and other opposition MPs now behind Raila to checkmate Ruto.
Those behind the new push include Interior cabinet secretary, Fred Matiang’i, Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho, State House Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua, former presidential adviser Nancy Gitau, Jubilee Party secretary general Raphael Tuju and his former assistant David Murathe. These are the ones who chose the speakers during the BBI event at Bomas of Kenya when Uhuru and Raila made the BBI report public.
It is the same clique that through the Interior ministry sent out invitations to 100 representatives from each of the 47 counties bringing the total number of delegates to 4,700 being part of the referendum deal network in counties.
At the event, the team ensured that Ruto was humiliated to send to him the signal that he is no longer Uhuru’s preferred successor. Ruto endured moments of humiliation before, during and after the launch. He was blocked entering Uhuru and Raila consultative meeting at Bomas only attended by cabinet secretaries who believe if Ruto is the next president, they will lose their plum slots in post Uhuru era.
That the DP was having an uneasy time was reflected in his demeanor and body language during the ceremony.
During the ceremony, leaders who have openly shown support for Ruto under the Tangatanga faction of Jubilee were conspicuously missing from the list of speakers. Being a presidential function, State House was fully involved in the programme lineup and those to make speeches.
Suna East MP Mohammed Junet was picked as master of ceremony on grounds that he was the only elected leader that was present during the famous handshake at Harambee House after he accompanied Raila.
Junet is now a key player in Raila kitchen cabinet and holds the powerful minority leader in parliament position that has helped Uhuru pass sensitive bills some even unpopular with his ruling Jubilee side MPs to solve the current economic crisis that has made him very unpopular.
Only Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who is the majority leader in the senate, and Adan Duale, the majority leader in the national assembly, got a chance to speak following pressure from some of the leaders present.
Tanga tanga politicians protested after discovering that Suna East MP was listed as an emcee for the event. Many wanted a neutral person even the government spokesman Cyrus Oguna to have been in charge of the programme to show nationalism after spending a whopping Sh15 billion on BBI to come out with the report.
The anti-Ruto team’s scheme was to humiliate Ruto to force him leave the venue but the deputy president appears to have read their minds and hence decided to stay put. Insiders add that the Matiang’i, Kibicho, Kinuthia, Tuju and Murathe axis has identified a person be appointed the prime minister by Raila once he wins the presidency.
The team’s headache is how to neuralise Ruto’s wave in Central Kenya. They were in for a shock after chaos and pandemonium rocked their meeting at Gathuthuini Primary School in Kirinyaga county. Drama began when nominated MP Maina Kamanda, in his speech, failed to recognize Ruto as a key player in BBI.
Kamanda reportedly refused to recognise Ruto as Kenyatta’s “partner in government”. In his address, Kamanda repeatedly made references to the president and Raila as the political pillars, who “have led to uninterrupted peace and political stability in Kenya”.
This infuriated residents who had attended the event who began chanting “Ruto, Ruto”, forcing Kamanda to cut short his speech.
As pro-Ruto chants rent the air, Kibicho grabbed the microphone and told those “who were not interested in what was being said”, to leave the venue, terming their actions as “primitive”.
In his speech, Matiang’i, asked those who accused Kibicho of being an anti-Ruto to direct the blame on him and president. Speaking to this writer, Kamanda claimed the hecklers were imported at the function by the pro-DP side in the region to disrupt the function.
There other task is the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission that needs to be overhauled but it is enshrined in current constitution. Talk has been rife that Ruto has control over Wafula Chebukati led IEBC more so, going by the fact that they cleared footballer Mcdonald Mariga to run for Kibra by- election after the returning officer had declined.
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