William Samoiye Ruto may have made history in 2006 by defying his godfather ex-President Moi while still serving as KANU secretary general to declare that he would be vying for presidency; but this history is something Raila Odinga had done way back in 2001, while Moi was still a serving powerful president, and even went further to persuade reluctant KANU hawks like Kalonzo Musyoka, Joseph Kamotho, William Ole Ntimama, Mody Awori, George Saitoti ,et al to defy Moi and join opposition – five whole years before William Ruto could master any guts.
Sadly for those of us who held the NARC dream dear and are presently holding the ODM dream close to their hearts, the political activities of William Ruto – who was literally assisted into political rehabilitation and continues to be sheltered from powerful foes – are being interpreted in ODM circles as a direct affront to the stability of the party and a threat to the political targets of the millions of party supporters. If these fears are confirmed, then it will be a massive betrayal by one person who was selected to negotiate the national peace accord with PNU on behalf of ODM. Read this link where fearless Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo makes reference to an unnamed senior cabinet minister undermining ODM.
Whereas ODM democracy encourages fair internal competition amongst members, it is critical that party loyalty is observed given our laws and political circumstances. Unfortunately, emerging information indicates that Ruto’s underground activities are nothing but pure subversion. The fact remains that politicians commonly engage in scheming and strategy so as to retain or win powerful offices. Businesses do the same to remain competitive and any student of management will tell you that “strategy” is a core subject at any level in university. Perhaps because of panic or excitement, Ruto is assuming that strategy and subversion are two similar words.
One myth being peddled around is that William Ruto has now come of age and has set his eyes on the country’s top seat. Ruto is glorified in Kenyan press as being in total control of the expansive Rift Valley vote and that all that is now required is to revive Kamatusa, through an alliance with say Uhuru Kenyatta or Martha Karua and H.E. President William S. Ruto will be made a reality. This is the biggest joke that has now become a thorn in the flesh of ODM.
The last time I heard this myth, ex-president Moi was in ‘total control’ of the same constituency and that the votes in this province would go wherever the elder Moi led them to. To the amazement of many, the 2007 elections shattered the Moi myth to smithereens. This weekend, who-is-who in ODM are retreating to Naivasha to discuss ‘the party constitution’. Those of us in the know are aware party discipline is a major agenda. Additionally, the god-sent political parties act and the forthcoming ODM grassroot elections will be discussed.
If naivety prevails and any politician fail to strategise or scheme poorly, they will most certainly find themselves unceremoniously thrown out of the game.
Through ODM, William Ruto made an unsuccessful bid for the presidential ticket last year where he was beaten to a distant third behind second placed Musalia Mudavadi and unanimous winner Raila Odinga. That was despite the usual misinformed predictions that Raila would be given a run for his money by Ruto who was then purportedly controlling more delegates by virtue of being the Rift Valley candidate. You and I know Raila made mince meat of the Ruto myth in Kasarani historic primaries, but was then kind enough to extend a third critical lifeline by creating and drafting Ruto as a senior member of one of the most exciting and most prestigious political politburos ever witnessed since the NARC summit – the ODM PENTAGON. The first lifeline was when Ruto had to be guided into freely declaring his interest in the presidency when he was still serving as KANU SG amidst Moi’s massive shadow, while the second was when predicable Kalonzo puppets Maanzo and Chepkonga took off with ODM-K party certificate leaving many a naked souls less than six months to the general elections and no one knew where to take cover until Raila came to the rescue with his ODM scoop – a party whose ticket Ruto and many Rift Valley MPs were re-elected back to parliament and appointed to cabinet by Raila!
It will therefore come as a great surprise to many that William Ruto is the man being fingered to be behind the rebellion gripping the ODM. It is an open secret that Ruto has been unable to tame his ambition and has since January 2008, been spoiling for a political duel with DPM Musalia Mudavadi so as to upstage him as deputy captain and in the process place himself in a strategic position to, at most, run for president in the next elections or, at worst, land the PM’s seat.
But what is really driving Arap Ruto’s ambition? Is it qualification, self-belief, or the huge Rift Valley vote basket that he supposedly controls? Is it a bold attempt to keep Y2K mega-deals buried or maybe it is the fear of having to be made answerable for involvement in post election violence? Perhaps it is an attempt to keep the existing court process at arm’s length? Only time (read-elections) will tell.
If one asks Musakari Kombo, Raphael Tuju, Simeon Nyachae, Shem Ochuodho, Njenga Karume, Mukhisa Kituyi, Kalembe Ndile, Daniel arap Moi, or even Mwai Kibaki himself; poor political scheming and strategizing does have serious pitfalls. If it is intended to serve one’s individual interests without causing injury, harm or violence to others or the country, then it is all well and good. This is normally treated as acceptable behaviour that is within political ethics. But scheming to secure personal political advantages through the use of diabolical schemes such as violence, betrayal, infiltration and backstabbing is as destructive and diseased as the minds that conceptualize them. Remember gentlemen and ladies, just a few months after being sworn in, ODM – the people’s party – has already lost the lives of four sitting MPs through violence and accident(s) that so far remain unresolved.