Is Uhuru going to betray Ruto?

This question is simply dense; silly almost. It is inconsequential. The answer matters not. Any student of WSR brand of politics will tell you such questions are spawned from ignorance.

Granted, WSR is UK’s Deputy; he is Kenya 2. Although he has been for the past 6 years, he has never been under UK’s shadow. He never sat back Mudavadi-style expecting UK’s to hand him 2022 on a silver platter. Hustler has been busy charting his own path; making his alliances; creating his networks even as he remains faithful to his boss.

So why the current fuss?

It’s about the handshake. Rao-UK handshake is giving lots of folk an acute case of loose bowels. Rao has ‘shaken’ several other hands; Kibaki’s, Moi’s, Ngilu’s, Sonko’s etc. The avalanches of handshakes have been viewed by armchair conspiracy theorists as early signs of Kenya’s monarchical families closing ranks to frustrate WSR’s 2022 presidential bid.

Looming greater is fear that UK’s will throw WSR under the bus. That after faithfully supporting UK in 2013 and 2017, Jomo’s scion will abandon Ruto in favor of another candidate for 2022.

This is unadulterated idiocy! Granted anything goes in politics but not this time.

Allow me break it down to a level most will get it.

2017 to 2022 is UK’s final term. Unless otherwise, UK’s political life is over. This alone makes him a lame-duck president; politically. He had a humongous voting bloc in the Mt. Kenya Nation whose hold is at best tenuous.

The moment he got sworn in for his final term, his bloc was done with him. The ‘thuraku’ movement and kumira kumira’ project was done and dusted. The GEMA nation has slowly shifted her focus to WSR because the present is done. They are now facing the future. And WSR is it.

Indisputably, Hustler is currently drawing bigger crowds than UK in the latter’s backyard. His frequent forays to central, unaccompanied by UK, have seen him establish extensive networks only answerable to him.

Have you seen the crowds? The enthusiasm? He is making alliances with governors, MPs, senators-all and sundry. This man has smoothly taken over the boss’ political estate.

During the recent Matiba’s requiem mass, UK’s speech was viewed as overlooking WSR in favor of Rao. Millions of UK’s core supporters went bonkers. Social media has never been so lit. The fireworks in UK’s timelines; the fiery debates in Mt. Kenya groups! Net almost crashed.

The message was simple. Rao+UK should focus on unifying Kenya. 2022 is the year of the Kuku Man. Of course it was false alarm. The two would later hold a hugely enjoyable tour at Githurai where all doubters were put to shame.

For Mt. Kenya, 2022 will not be about repaying political debts. It will be about rewarding loyalty. To use Tom Clancy’s word, it is debt of honor that must be repaid. It will be crowning a loyal general who faithfully stood by his commander when all was lost. And WSR has been as loyal as they come. No contradicting the boss even when things go South.

There is also the pending issue of a public matter of shedding an odious tag that ‘they can’t vote for anyone else but one of them.’ WSR has been adopted. He is now one of them.

This is the loyalty that will be rewarded.

We have 2002 hangovers where Rao-Kibaki marriage was characterized by daily episodes of public bickering. The government was speaking at cross purposes. Subsequent Mt. Kenya revolt against Rao was purely to punish disloyalty.

As PM, Rao complained about everything under the sun. He was seen as disloyal to old Man Kibaki who was his co-principal. Rao was seen as an ‘oppositionist’ from within. Overtime, was seen as ‘power-hungry’ man who is daily disturbing ‘our old man’. Such impatience had to be punished.

WSR has avoided that curse. He has been lying low, patiently in wait. And his patience has been duly noted. He knows Jubilee’s legacy is not just UK’s legacy; it will also be his. He will not only inherit UK’s achievements but his patience will also win him UK’s supporters.

It’s a win-win.

But we should understand Rao. Old Man Tinga has realized that after several false starts, he might never be the president. He aspires to leave a lasting legacy that doesn’t include becoming a president. He wants to be a statesman.

Did you see him read a speech with UK beside him? Did you see him in SA to represent GoK at Winnie’s burial? Did you see him address devolution conference? He is now working on his legacy. He will also share in UK’s last term as key shaper of Jubilee’s Big 4. Rao has realized he is as powerful as president without becoming one.

His legacy is simple Kenya United. If a united Kenya attains double-digit economic growth, that success will be both Jubilee’s and Rao’s. If the big 4 become a reality, they will be remembered as products of Rao-UK handshake. He has become part of Jubilee’s dream. That is his new quest.

But in our myopic outlook, Rao has come to wreck Jubilee from within. He has not. He is not building networks but bridges.

The question then should not be if UK will betray WSR. The question should be -Does UK currently have a diehard support base that he can direct to vote in certain direction?

You answer this and you will have answered the riddle in the first sentence.

 

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