Nobody can deny the achievements of Eldoret North legislator William Ruto. Above everything else he is the only person to openly defy President Daniel arap Moi in the Rift Valley and survive to talk about a resounding victory. He is also the only person I know who has been in a fist fight within the precincts of State House (more on that later in this post). Quite a character this Ruto who has recently re-packaged himself for gullible Kenyans...na bado.
And so it seems that Ruto will be a major force in the 2012 polls. Or will he be?
There are those who quickly point to Ruto’s massive support in the Rift Valley to prove that the Eldoret North MP will play a major role in deciding who the next occupant of State House will be. Indeed the behaviour of many legislators in the Rift Valley seems to suggest that nobody can challenge the man successfully amongst the Kalenjin community. How many legislators from the region have defied Ruto only to turn up the next day hat in hand and full of apologies?
Hi detractors simply point to the Hague and the battle awaiting Mr Ruto in the hands of the ICC. Hilariously there is a presidential candidate whose main strategy is based on Ruto and Uhuru not being around to challenge him for the presidency, but that is a story for another post.
But assuming he will survive (which I doubt) it is not difficult to figure out the kind of political calculations that may be going on inside the mind of William Ruto. Any presidential candidate who captures Rift Valley is almost there and needs just a little more support from the rest of the country to get enough numbers to get into the run off stage (most political analysts are sure that whatever way one looks at things we will have to go into a run off and so what presidential candidates have to do initially is to go for the numbers first.)
There is another school of thought that suggests that sly Ruto already knows that he stands no chance and is just positioning himself to make deals that will be beneficial to him with those who will emerge as the leading presidential candidates. This is what this blogger suspects is Ruto’s real game plan. There are many reasons for this but top on the list is the fact that financing a serious presidential campaign requires considerable resources. At the end of the day Ruto has consistently ensured that all his calculations have always ended up with more cash in his pocket. There is no reason to suggest why he should have it any different this time round. Ruto is not capable of attracting serious financing and although he is not a poor man it is unlikely that he will want to finance his own presidential campaign. Meaning that all he will do will be to position himself as a leading tribal chief to be courted by every serious presidential candidate for his own financial gain. Remember that this time round there are no cabinet posts to be distributed.
Having said this I will be the first to admit that Ruto is still capable of pulling off surprises, mostly of the nasty kind. This is the man who did the unimaginable in State House, Nairobi a few years ago when he attacked and punched Reuben Chesire, an elderly man who could pass for his father. Ruto had accused the old man of going around and tarnishing his name by telling people that he was a con-man.
Ruto, the democrat was also an official of the youth for Kanu 92 lobby group which dished out so much money to Kenyans in forms of bribes to ensure Moi's re-elected in the first multi-party elections of 1992. The inevitable effects of suddenly increasing money supply was runaway inflation, and was the point at which many Kenyans entered the deep poverty rut they are yet to emerge from today.
The former cabinet minister who was very powerful in a regime that stifled the basic democratic rights of Kenyans like freedom of speech and association told Kenyans at the Coast over the weekend that they should not elect anybody with a suspect past. Hilarious stuff is it not?
Moi and Ruto secrets past and present
Property for sale in Nairobi and Mombasa