Deputy President William Ruto is a man under siege but can he Reinvent himself? Not only is he a Deputy President just by name but his footsoldiers have also been “neutralized” thereby leaving him practically alone.
A trend has emerged in political circles such that anybody who tries associating with him is either harassed or prosecuted for one crime or another. One MP associated with Ruto Sirisia’s John Waluke is in prison. Vocal Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa has murder and corruption cases against her. Same to Migori Governor Okoth Obado who has had an off and on dalliance with the DP.
Ferdinand Waititu and Mike Sonko seem lost politically. Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has a forgery case while Gatundu South’s Moses Kuria is reported to being lined up for prosecution over the misappropriation of NGCDF funds and abuse of office.
From the above prosecutions convictions etc there is a clear pattern meant to deflate Ruto’s troops. While some are kept busy through court cases others like Senator Kipchumba Murkomen Kimani Ichungwa Ben Washiali etc are being sorted out politically. They’ve been demoted from their former influential positions in Senate and the National Assembly.
What next for Ruto, will he Reinvent himself?
Going by our nature of politics Ruto is in a tricky situation. Can he resign as Deputy President. What will his political fortunes be if he so resigns. How relevant will he be if he resigns. What consequences will there be.
Ruto is all but out of government. What he needs is an exit strategy. Such strategy must take into account timing. If he leaves early it may be risky since he still enjoys the trappings of power which shields him from many issues including potential prosecution for corruption allegations such as the Kenya Pipeline land saga which never goes away. The Weston Hotel issue is also unresolved. If he leaves too late on the other hand he may find it complicated gaining ground and setting up a network for his 2022 bid.
What Ruto can take advantage of is the upcoming constitutional amendments as suggested from several sources. He can take a controversial position on one or two issues (not many) and run around with them.
Since it’s expected that these changes will be triggered off next year, he can in the meantime stop being antagonistic and tag along as a loyal DP. This will give him the advantage of time to scheme and marshal troops.
He will also need a restructuring of his network and associates since most are turning out to be bogged down by baggage which may not be good for his PR. He needs to bring in fresh faces and a new message. Not the hustler story which isn’t selling.