Why DP Ruto has to work overtime to secure Mt Kenya votes in 2022

Region's key leaders are fast changing their minds about automatic support for him

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William Ruto
Deputy President William Ruto. PHOTO: THE STAR

What seemed like an obvious feast for Central Kenya votes in the succession of of Uhuru Kenyatta, is turning out to be a complicated affair for Deputy President William Ruto.

Albeit being a calculating politician, Ruto now has major hurdles being thrown in his way as the region’s politicians hatch their own plans for power in five years even as Uhuru shifts focus to securing his legacy during the second and last term.

Ngunjiri Wambugu
Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu. He recently caused a storm by saying DP Ruto’s support in Central Kenya wasn’t guaranteed. /THE STAR

The Opposition is also on the duo’s case, working extra hard to end the UhuRuto pact that they will rule for 20 years — 10 by Kenyatta and 10 by Ruto, a union the National Super Alliance calls describes as poisonous ethnic duopoly.

But Ruto’s immediate problem is his support in Mt Kenya, one of Jubilee biggest vote basket which now seems shaky as opinion on the ground is shifting.

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Pundits are convinced that a plot has been hatched to curtail Ruto’s influence beginning with the Cabinet where his plans to fill with his own allies seems to have hit a snag.

This even as key Mt Kenya politicians remain noncommittal about supporting him in 2022 despite his generous contribution to Uhuru’s win in 2013 and 2022, they are now saying they will announce their position at the ‘right time’.

“We are in talks with several people and immediately President Uhuru settles on his government, we will slowly create our own path. Remember, the list of people interested to succeed Uhuru is very long,” the Star quoted a prominent leader who sought anonymity.

Ruto’s tweet earlier in the week which read; “Useless political debates about positions, including 2022”, just goes to show that the DP has sensed all is not well with the region in as far as his support is concerned.

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Recently, Nyeri town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu raised quite the storm after saying that Central Kenya’s support for Ruto was not guaranteed mirroring previous sentiments by former Kiambu governor William Kabogo.

“What we cannot do is go around looking for votes for him today, for 2022. We also cannot go around telling the DP he will get votes — from any region — unconditionally. That would be to lie to him.” the legislator said. “A lot can happen in five years, people think for themselves,” he added.

On the other hand, Cherang’any MP Joshua Kuttuny, a former political advisor of President Kenyatta, noted Jubilee’s problem in Central was lack of consultation.

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“The power wars in Mt Kenya bring out the political situation where there are no consultations and proper framework of engagement,” he told the Star. Adding; “If you leave this political situation unchecked, it raises suspicion among leaders from Central and Rift Valley.”

And as if the Mount Kenya problem is not a a big enough mountain, his political nemesis Gideon Moi isn’t making it any easier for DP Ruto in his Rift Valley backyard.

The Baringo Senator and son of former President Gideon Moi also has his eyes set on the big seat. He also has a hand in the filling of the Cabinet slots following a pre-election pact with Uhuru making things even more grainy for the DP.